Why "sex worker" and not "prostitute?"
"Prostitute," "hooker," "slut," "whore," you get the point. No matter how journalists may have dealt with women who sell sex for money in the past, it's important to remember that "prostitutes" are first and foremost, people. Advocates of sex work will be the first to say that "sex worker" is the proper term to use when referencing a man or woman in the trade.
The New Oxford American dictionary defines the following
prostitute |ˈprästəˌt(y)o͞ot| noun • a person, typically a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment.
Sex work encompasses much more than a transaction; it can refer to an escort, to street-based workers and other commercial-types.
Journalists have often made the mistake to offend people by using words like "hooker" in headlines, thinking they would make this more relatable and easy to understand.
By showing respect and not undermining or categorizing sex-trade workers, journalists can make their coverage a lot less bias or subjective.
Covering a topic like sex work is hard to do; it's hard not to infuse your own personal beliefs, thoughts or opinions when meeting people living lives that are so different than yours. Sure, we can say what we want about objective journalism (some don't believe it in it, others strive to prove its existence) but, the importance here is to showcase the person as a person and not by the way they make a living.