Reporting on addiction accurately and ethically

This webinar was recorded on Nov. 27, 2023.

The organization Reporting on Addiction began as a response to what its founders identified as misinformed, harmful coverage of opioid use disorder and the people and communities affected by it. The organization now offers nationwide training of student and professional journalists. This webinar will pinpoint some of the errors reporters make most often and present the research-informed viewpoints of experts, strategies and tips journalists can apply to solutions-based coverage of addiction treatment and related topics. The panel will also delve into how to incorporate into reporting the lived experience of people struggling with addiction.


Katti Gray is AHCJ’s health beat leader for behavioral and mental health and a former Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow. Gray has covered, among other topics, mental health care in prisons and jails, the debate over whether mental illnesses are being over-diagnosed and efforts to persuade people of color to be less skeptical about seeking counseling and other mental health services. Her work has been published by The Washington Post, Salon, Reuters, among other publications. Her writings appear in,” The Criminalization of Mental Illness” and “Narrative Matters: Writing to Change the Health Care System,” among other books.

Ashton Marra, M.S., is co-founder and co-director of Reporting on Addiction, which trains professional and student journalists in solutions-focused journalism aimed at reducing stigmas about drug use disorders that the news media also have perpetuated. She teaches news writing, video storytelling and community-focused journalism at West Virginia University and is executive editor of 100 Days in Appalachia, an award-winning national news site whose editors, reporters, photographers, et al. are Appalachians.

Jonathan J.K. Stoltman, Ph.D., is co-founder and co-director of Reporting on Addiction and director of the Opioid Policy Institute. He earned a doctorate in lifespan developmental psychology from West Virginia University. His work has appeared in leading journals and media outlets and at national conferences. Currently, his work focuses on reproductive/sexual health, stigma/discrimination and digital approaches to addiction treatment.

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