For reporters


A woman with shorts and a tshirt walks across a city street with a tan Labradoodle. Next to her is a woman in a dress and leggings and her small Japanese Chin.

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Designed to benefit journalists, this page contains our service dog reporting guide and information about our Award for Excellence in Service Dog Reporting.  Our press releases and previous media coverage are on other pages. Contact us for more information or to set up an interview (info [at] psych.dog, (805) 876-4256).

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Reporting guide

Journalists reporting on disability are in luck! We created a service dog reporting guide so media professionals (and amateurs) can craft better content. This includes stories on service dogs, assistance dogs, emotional support animals (ESAs), and therapy dogs.

Whether you want to get the service dog terminology straight or avoid harming marginalized communities, our easy-to-read service dog reporting guide has you covered.

text-only version of this guide is linked in this sentence for those who use screenreaders.

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first page of service dog reporting guide

click to open our reporting guide

This reporting guide was designed by our Director of Government Relations, Bradley W. Morris, MA, CPhil. He has served as an expert for federal agencies, been featured in major news outlets, and written opinion pieces for traditional national media and disability-oriented periodicals. As a wheelchair user on PSDP’s Board of Directors, he is a proud disabled disability advocate.

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Award for Excellence in Service Dog Reporting

A smiling white woman sits with a small white and black dog in her lap, in a room where she is surrounded by lighting and filming equipment.

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Nonprofit organization Psychiatric Service Dog Partners (PSDP) is encouraging good reporting on service dog teams by offering an Award for Excellence in Service Dog Reporting. This award is accompanied by a $500 prize.

The international award is for a traditional news story in English by a professional journalist in any medium (TV, newspaper, magazine). PSDP writes that the award is for a report:

  • originally published between June 1st of the previous year and May 31st of the current year
  • that (best) exemplifies responsible reporting involving service dogs, consistent with PSDP’s reporting guide (https://www.psychdogpartners.org/reporters) and as determined by PSDP’s Board of Directors
  • with a significant reach/audience (local news outlets are welcome, but a journalist’s personal blog would not likely qualify)

PSDP’s Director of Government Relations, Brad Morris, says the nonprofit started this award because there’s such a broad range of reporting quality when it comes to disability topics. “In our fight against misinformation, we want to recruit allies who are on the front lines,” Morris says.

The nomination process is simple. Reporters can self-nominate or anyone can nominate a reporter by submitting: the original report with a link to the source, a brief statement as to why the report(er) deserves the award, and the contact information of the reporter.

Submit nominations no earlier than April 5th and no later than June 5th to info [at] psych.dog with a subject line of “[Reporter’s last name] reporting award nomination”. Any winner will be contacted by the end of June and announced on PSDP’s site.


You can download the indoor picture for use with articles about the award by right-clicking the picture. Photo attribution: Brad Morris/PSDP. Image description (to make the photo accessible to people using screenreader software): A smiling white woman sits with a small white and black dog in her lap, in a room where she is surrounded by lighting and filming equipment.