Tips for journalists working from home

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by Maeve Hennessey, The Lenfest Institute

Over the past couple of weeks, newsrooms have abruptly transitioned from operating in an office to newsroom members being spread out in their homes, working remotely. Though working in sweatpants can be temporarily luxurious, working from home — while balancing kids, pets, and other responsibilities — can be a strain on newsroom operations, personal productivity, and mental health. 

Luckily, there are plenty of journalists who have navigated these waters before.

Here are some valuable tips on how to have an equally productive workday from home whether you’re an editor, a small local publication, or podcast host. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to joseph@lenfestinstitute.org with any other suggestions.

  • Open News curated resources and personal accounts to help journalists rethink the role of work while operating from home and created a guide to continue diversity and inclusivity values remotely
  • The Fathm news consultancy created a Distributed Newsroom Playbook that walks through challenges newsrooms are facing while adjusting to a distributed model and outlines strategies, tips, and best practices for building and managing a distributed newsroom.
  • These are 5 excellent and practical tips from WhereByUs’ Rebekah Monson.
  • And here are another 18 tips that LION Publishers CEO Chris Krewson compiled from the organization which serves small local publications. 
  • Harvard Business Review published tips for how parents can work from home with their kids who are also home from school. It also answered 15 pressing questions about remote work and figuring out the kinks of office life without the office
  • Fast Company shared another eight strategies for working remotely.
  • How do you record a podcast from home? Head to the closet. Hot Pod covered podcasting from home and explained how to set up a makeshift remote studio.
  • University of Missouri journalism professor, Damon Kiesow, shares some newsroom-specific advice on how to transition to a work office as seamlessly as possible. (Including: Use a smaller coffee mug!)
  • How major newsrooms are progressing with their remote strategies.
  • If you’re newsroom is dependent on Slack during this remote period, upgrading is no longer a drastic budget hit. Slack is allowing free upgrades to teams researching and responding to coronavirus.  
  • The World Association of News Publishers held a webinar where editors from all over the world shared how their newsroom is navigating remote work.
  • The Verge published a guide to making the best of online tools like zoom and slack while working remotely.
  • For those working in packed houses, The Conversation’s Brittany Harker Martin gives some advice on co-working with the household. 
  • Harvard Business Review created guidelines for managers and how they can keep track of their employees remotely 
  • Cleanliness is a necessity during a pandemic. Here are some tips from Vox on how to effectively stay clean at home. 

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