The cultural competence series was created to increase understanding communities of people by using the skills of journalism students at Michigan State University as reporters, writers and producers.
Our approach is simple. We ask members of the groups we cover to tell us what they wish others knew about them, or to tell us about the misconceptions they hear. We use keyword analysis to see what questions people are asking online. We focus on questions for which there appear to be few places with answers.
We produce guides that are respectful, accurate, accessible and authoritative. These are our values:
RESPECT: We respect the people the guides are about and the people who the guides are for. We answer questions, but we do not repeat slurs, which legitimize them. We never scold people for asking a question or for the way ask it. We assume that all questions, however worded, are asked sincerely and with a genuine desire to understand.
ACCURACY: We look for answers in research data and from credible sources.
AUTHORITY: Authoritative allies vet the questions we get and the answers we write. Their help is critical.
ACCESSIBILITY: We want the guides to be as barrier-free as possible. Answers are concise and clear. We keep sentences short. We make one-sitting guides and large type so as not to intimidate or overwhelm. We publish on every platform people use. We are in print, we post select content from every one of our guides and we are available on various digital formats. We are working on audio recordings.