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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Shadid Curriculum: State of Hate

Melanie Payne, Adam Walser, Kylie McGivern, Jackie Callaway, Randy Wright and Matt McGlashen of WFTS/ABC Action News were finalists for the 2023 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics for their newscast, “State of Hate.”

For us, the biggest thing was, we don’t want to give a platform to people that are looking for one to spew hate and create further divides, so our challenge was how do we let people know what is going on and what can be done to stop this and to speak about it, without giving those people a platform.

Kylie McGivern (WFTS/ABC Action News)

Covering Hate

This one-hour newscast from a team of reporters at WFTS/ABC Action News investigated the sharp uptick in hate groups and hate incidents in Florida with the goal of providing its audience with the resources needed to identify, report and combat hate. This news team sought to show how pervasive hate groups are throughout Florida without, at the same time, giving more exposure to these groups or their rhetoric. 

The reporters attempted to maintain this delicate balance by focusing their storytelling on how white supremacy is aided by conspiracy and mis- and disinformation, as well as on reporting that showed the impact that hate crimes and incidents have on community members. 

Kylie McGivern on The Team’s Reporting


Q1: How can journalists cover hate without at the same time giving hate groups the exposure they crave? 

Q2: Did the I-Team do enough to mitigate harm to their sources and their audience? Are there parts of the hour-long newscast that you would not have included because of potential harm?

Q3: How should journalists protect themselves from traumatic experiences when covering issues like hate crimes and white supremacy? What are the obligations of news organizations to the journalists who work for them?