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Media reporting on social housing - new guidance

4 October 2017

Benefit to society, guide for journalists

The Fair Press for Tenants guide has been produced by a range of expert organisations, social housing tenants, and journalists. The guidance forms part of a campaign organised by the NUJ Manchester and Salford branch.

NUJ activists have worked directly with tenants to create this new guide for media workers, and the guidance offers assistance and suggestions on how to report on social housing.

 Download the guidance: Fair Press for Tenants


The guide describes the impact of some types of media reporting and provides a range of suggestions about how to cover stories. The guide is aimed at journalists, PR professionals, documentary makers and media workers who are keen to hear feedback from readers, viewers and listeners about media representations of people who live in social housing.

The campaign has been supported by Inside Housing – the UK trade magazine for the housing sector.

Rachel Broady, NUJ Manchester and Salford branch equality officer, said:

"We have to recognise that journalists are under pressure in busy newsrooms, with fewer staff, as newspapers close and as getting out to stories becomes increasingly difficult - but this can lead to reaching for easy stereotypes and lazy language that can do harm to the communities we serve. 
"The tenants I worked with agreed that stereotypes of nuisance neighbours need to be confronted and the clichéd photos of grim streets need to be reconsidered. Stereotyping social housing tenants has real consequences; it denies us a voice and allows our concerns to be dismissed because it too often portrays us as nuisances, as demanding something we’re not entitled to.
"I think this is particularly apparent after the Grenfell Tower atrocity where, combined with a lack of local reporting, the legitimate concerns of tenants were too easily ignored. In producing this information, tenants want to offer genuine guidance to help media workers and to get them to think about what it is they’re contributing to."

Tags: , reporting, reporting guidelines, social housing, housing, manchester and salford branch, ethics