News and information that journalists need to serve the public and stay safe.
March 16, 2020
Put down the phone (Really, it’s OK!)
Tony Lin couldn’t stop hitting refresh on his phone. The Quartz video journalist needed updates on COVID-19, which Lin started reporting on in December when it began spreading through China.

After the first couple of days of absorbing nonstop information, he couldn’t sleep. “It just came to me,” Lin said Monday in an interview with the Institute. “It’s not sustainable.”

With the coronavirus impacting life in the U.S., he’s been sharing lessons from his early coverage . One thing he notes: It’s very hard for anyone — not just journalists — to put down their phones.

“Checking our phone is something to do to make us feel like we are in control,” he said. “That’s actually somewhat addictive – to keep absorbing more trauma.”

  • Find something to make you happy at home. For Lin, it’s music and cooking.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Don’t let fear get the best of you.
  • It’s OK to put down your phone.

Taking a break from the news cycle is not selfish, Lin says. “It’s a necessity to keep us alive, to allow us to keep reporting on this issue. Otherwise, we are going to get desensitized.”

How are you practicing self-care? Share your tips.
Best practices: Headlines need to inform, not just tease
In a time of information overload, readers are scanning fast-moving headlines for the urgent information they need to make decisions about their lives. Headlines are often the only way your reader will experience a story. Here are some practices to keep in mind.
Thanks to Cassie Haynes , Co-Executive Director | Resolve Philly , for sharing these tips.

Find a local freelancer for on-the-ground reporting  

Find professionals who can help in your virtual classroom (Institute for Nonprofit News)
This newsletter is written & edited by the National Press Club Journalism Institute staff: Beth Francesco, Jim Kuhnhenn, and Julie Moos. Send us your questions and suggestions for topics to cover.

Get this from a friend? Subscribe , and view the archives .
The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement. Support our important work with a tax-deductible contribution today.