Introducing a journalist’s guide to covering the housing crisis

Renaissance Journalism is excited to introduce a new tool to help journalists cover the nation’s housing crisis. The guide, “Housing Reporting Rx: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering the Housing Crisis,” highlights our key findings and observations from a yearlong review of housing coverage. It also identifies major pitfalls to avoid and offers practical tips and real-life examples to journalists on how to improve and expand coverage of the housing crisis in all its complexity and nuance.

The guide grew out of Renaissance Journalism in-depth exploration of news media coverage of the nation’s housing crisis, work commissioned by the Ford Foundation. As part of our research, we organized three roundtable discussions—in Pittsburgh, Fresno and San Antonio—that brought together leaders from media, philanthropy and the nonprofit/community sectors. Through a facilitated dialogue, we discussed current media practices, imagined new possibilities, and considered ways to strengthen coverage

Additionally, Renaissance Journalism sampled stories from around the country to identify strengths and weaknesses. We reviewed studies and critiques prepared by academic, policy, communications and nonprofit specialists. Our research was also informed by our efforts over the past decade, working in collaboration with journalists, news organizations, foundations and nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the United States.

“We believe that journalists and their news organizations can have a huge impact on the housing affordability and insecurity crisis,” said Jon Funabiki, executive director of Renaissance Journalism. “They shape public opinion and influence public policy, such as rent control and tax legislation. These policies, in turn, have a significant impact on housing and on our everyday lives.”

As discussed in the guide, Renaissance Journalism’s research and work have shown that journalists can significantly improve their coverage of this complex problem, by taking a systems and structural approach to their reporting. “They need to look beyond the day-to-day individual events and investigate and explore how the housing crisis is an issue that intersects with educational equity, economic disparities, structural racism, poverty and other systemic drivers of inequity and social injustice,” said Funabiki.

While this guide is primarily designed for journalists and news organizations, anyone interested in improving, expanding and strengthening our media’s coverage of the housing affordability and insecurity crisis will find it useful and relevant.


Click this link to download the guide:

Housing Reporting Rx: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering the Housing Crisis



“Housing Reporting Rx: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering the Housing Crisis” was made possible with support from the Ford Foundation.