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Inclusive Writing Resources for Communicators

The Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication believes that communicators must continually adapt to shifting social norms and employ best practices for speaking about diverse groups of people. This adaptability makes the world a more inclusive, inviting place for everyone. It also provides communicators with a way to speak to entire audiences rather than just a privileged few. This guide aims to provide resources for staying up to date on inclusive writing for students, alumni, and other communicators.

This list is maintained by the Drake SJMC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. If you believe there is a resource or organization that needs added to this list, please email or


The Society of Professional Journalists Toolbox: Diversity

The Society of Professional Journalists semi-regularly update a list of style guides, source databases, links to professional organizations, and resources to assist journalists from non-dominant identity groups succeed in the field.

Diversity Style Guide

The Diversity Style Guide was originally created by the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism in the Journalism Department as San Francisco University. It aims to provides journalists and other media professionals with a guide to language for inclusive and equitable writing. The guide includes terms and phrases to use related to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, drugs and alcohol, and disabilities.

Conscious Style Guide

Created by author Karen Yin, the Conscious Style Guide aims to help writers and editors think critically about the words, portrayals, framing, and representations they use in their writing. The Poynter Institute identified the guide as a top tool for journalists in 2018. Yin will publish the style guide and detail the philosophy behind the guide in a book in 2024.

Language, Please

Language, Please is a living resource that provides a style guide for communicators who want to thoughtfully write about social, cultural, and identity-related topics. It organizes information topically, providing guides on class and social standing; disabilities, neurodiversity, and chronic illness; gender and sexuality; borders and population; religion and spirituality; mental health, trauma, and substance abuse; and race and ethnicity. Language, Please also provides resources and tools for marketers about diversity, equity, and inclusion in marketing campaigns.

National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is the largest organization for journalists of color in the United States. The NABJ provides a style guide for newsrooms and other communicators about language and race.

Indigenous Journalists Association Reporting Guides

The Indigenous Journalists Association (IJA) aims to support Indigenous voices in media and to promote Indigenous cultures through accurate and nuanced reporting about Indigenous people and communities. The IJA provides multiple guides for communicators to use, including a media guide, a terminology guide, guides to sourcing from Indigenous communities, and more.

Asian American Journalists Association Guidances and Resources


The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) promotes diversity in newsrooms and seeks to make media coverage of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) more equitable and inclusive. The AAJA provides timely guidance to help journalists inclusively write about issues affecting the AAPI community as they happen.

Trans Journalists Association Style Guide

The Trans Journalists Association (TJA) promotes accurate, nuanced stories and coverage of trans issues and communities and supports journalists with a wide range of gender identities. The TJA’s Style Guide provides communicators with a tool to improve writing and reporting about trans people and the stories that affect them.

GLAAD Media Reference Guide

GLAAD is the world’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer advocacy organization. Their Media Reference Guide offers guidance on how to tell the stories of LGBTQ people fairly and accurately. It provides a glossary of terms as well as resources to further information.

National Center on Disability and Journalism Style Guide

The National Center on Disability and Journalism provides guidance to communicators to respectfully write about people with disabilities. Their style guide provides general guidelines about writing about people who have disabilities as well as specific terminology. Their style guide is available in English or Spanish.

Caregiving Coverage Style Guide

The New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative created the Caregiving Coverage Style Guide to assist communicators in avoiding ageism and ageist language.