Expert Commentary

These were the most-read pieces on The Journalist’s Resource in 2022

Here are the year’s 10 most popular posts, which helped journalists as they reported some of the biggest news stories of 2022.

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Throughout 2022, The Journalist’s Resource produced 104 research roundups, articles, in-depth explainers, tip sheets, comics and expert commentaries. Here are the year’s 10 most popular posts, which supported journalists as they reported some of the biggest news stories of the year — including the U.S. midterm elections, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, several high-profile mass shootings and a rise of antisemitic incidents and hate crimes. This list includes articles and research roundups we published — or significantly updated, expanded and republished — in the past 12 months. Popularity is based on unique page views during this time period.

1. Gun buybacks: What the research says

Gun buybacks allow gun owners to trade their firearms to law enforcement, no questions asked. Clark Merrefield dove into what the research says on whether they work to reduce gun violence. This piece, originally published in 2020 but significantly updated in 2022, was cited by or linked from some 275 websites including The Daily KosTheGunMag.comThe Washington PostCNNNPR and ABC7Chicago — a reminder that we inform the work of print, digital and broadcast media outlets across the political spectrum.

2. Economic research resurfaces debate about the link between legalized abortion and crime reduction

An influential study finds that legalized abortion following Roe v. Wade accounts for a large portion of the decline in U.S. crime rates since the 1990s. But some economists are not convinced, as Merrefield explained in this article, originally published in 2019 and updated in 2022. “The research has received renewed attention on social media since Politico on May 2 published a draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would overturn Roe,” Merrefield writes.

3. ‘Horse race’ coverage of elections can harm voters, candidates and news outlets

To inform news coverage of the U.S. midterms, Denise-Marie Ordway updated this roundup of research looking at the consequences of one of the most common ways journalists cover elections — with a focus on who’s in the lead and who’s behind instead of policy issues.

4. The four-day school week: Research shows benefits and consequences

To save money and help recruit teachers, many schools are taking Mondays or Fridays off. Scholars are studying how it affects students, teachers and school district budgets. As more and more school districts considered the idea in the wake of COVID-19, Ordway updated her 2018 roundup with new data and new research.

5. Percent change vs. percentage point change: What’s the difference? 4 tips for avoiding math errors

Many people get ‘percent change’ and ‘percentage-point change’ confused, leading to reporting errors. Ordway created this tip sheet, featuring insights from data journalism pioneer Jennifer LaFleur, to help journalists get it right.

6. Trauma-informed journalism: What it is, why it’s important and tips for practicing it

Covering trauma — ranging from storms and fires to sexual assaults and homicides to mass shootings and wars — has always been a part of journalists’ work. But “trauma-informed journalism” is a relatively new concept. Naseem Miller turned to several reliable sources to explain what it means and how to practice it.

7. Antisemitism on the rise: A research roundup

To help journalists identify and report on the rise of antisemitism, freelancer Jordan Fenster turned to several experts to explain what it is and how it happens. He also compiled and summarized several academic studies and commentaries on the subject.

8. 5 things journalists need to know about statistical significance

It’s easy to misunderstand and misuse one of the most common — and important — terms in academic research: statistical significance. Ordway created this tip sheet to help journalists avoid some of the most common errors, which, she notes, “even trained researchers make sometimes.”

9. Should news outlets show images of mass shooting victims? Researchers and other experts weigh in

Multiple mass shootings in 2022 prompted conversations about whether news outlets should consider publishing, graphic images from those shootings. Merrefield shared insights from several media scholars to help journalists address the question.

10. Racial disparities in mental health care: An explainer and research roundup

Miller collected, contextualized and summarized research to help journalists cover disparities in mental health — and access to mental health care — among people of color in the U.S. 

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