For all media enquiries please contact us at Isabelle Oderberg on 0435 966 251 or 8415 6214. Alternatively, call Kate Colvin on 0418 103 292.
For accurate facts and statistics about homelessness see our Facts page
Read our media releases
Reporting on homelessness
Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) has developed a set of Media Guidelines, below, which outline things for journalists to consider when reporting on homelessness. In response to increasingly negative portrayals of homelessness by some sections of the media, an alliance of Melbourne homelessness agencies and peak bodies also released a communique (2016) appealing for greater balance and factual reporting in relation to homelessness.
Reporting on homelessness: a quick reference guide for journalists
The following quick reference guide assists journalists reporting on homelessness. In a fast-moving media landscape, we hope that these guidelines will make it easier for journalists to deliver balanced, ethical and factual reporting. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 0435 966 251.
Refer to ‘people experiencing homelessness’ not ‘homeless people’
Take into account the broader social and economic causes of homelessness (see housing facts)
Include the views of people with lived experience of homelessness
Seek the views of homelessness services
Include information about the systemic solutions to homelessness
Give a balanced view of the range of homelessness experiences, not just rough sleeping
Blame the individual for systemic failures
Use identifiable photographs of people in crisis without their consent (and consider their capacity to consent)
Use imagery that perpetuates stereotypes or reinforces inaccurate opinions of homelessness
Perpetuate fear of people who are experiencing homelessness; people experiencing homelessness are 13 times more likely to experience violence and 47 times more likely to be the victims of theft.
Working with ‘case studies’
We understand that incorporating a personal story is often a necessary part of illustrating a theoretical concept.
Please consider whether the person you are interviewing has a good enough grasp of the media to give their informed consent to be interviewed.
Also, consider whether their current situation might be hampering their ability to give consent.
Don’t presume that they know the reach and the potential audience of a newspaper or radio station or of an online article.