Resources for Covering Mass Shootings

​On Sunday, a gunman opened fire during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26. Last month, a mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip during a country music festival left 58 people dead and hundreds wounded, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Below are tip sheets and other resources for journalists covering these tragedies.

Last month, a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino onto the Las Vegas Strip during an outdoor country music festival, leaving 58 dead and hundreds wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

On Sunday, a gunman opened fire during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people, including children.
The Dart Center has resources and tips for journalists covering these tragedies below:


Psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, M.D. and Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, share insights on covering mass killings in the aftermath of the 2011 Arizona shooting that left six dead and a U.S. Congresswoman grievously injured.

Reporter Dave Cullen's lessons from a decade of reporting on the Columbine attacks.

self-study unit on covering terrorism.

A compilation of journalist-to-journalist advice, from those who have covered large-scale shootings.

Professor Meg Moritz shares four lessons on covering school shootings.

Quick tips on working with victims and survivors from Dart Centre Asia Pacific.

A guide to handling traumatic user-generated content in the newsroom from Dart Centre Europe. 

Resources for Covering Mass Shootings: The Dart Center's Gavin Rees reflects on the 2010 Cumbria Tragedy and offers resources for journalists.

In a piece for Walkley magazine, the Dart Center's Bruce Shapiro points to some of what we've learned from covering mass shootings.

"Tragedies and Journalists": the Dart Center's comprehensive guide for reporters, editors, photographers and managers on every aspect of covering tragedy.

"Best Practices in Trauma Reporting," drawn from a decade of Dart Award-winning stories.

Scientific consensus, made readable, on the effects of traumatic coverage on journalists and on media consumers.

The International Center for Journalists's guide on Journalism and Trauma

Recovery from Unnatural Death: A guide by psychiatrist Ted Rynearson for friends and family of someone who has died violently or suddenly.

Working with victims and survivors: Journalists, researchers and mental health professionals offer advice on how to deal with people caught up in tragic events.


In this video James Grimaldi, investigative reporter at the Wall Street Journal, gives a hard-hitting talk on how to investigate gun sales.

Naming Killers? Families of mass shooting victims ask media not to name shooters.

Firearm Terminology and Vocabulary: A basic guide for describing firearms, accessories, and safety or regulatory technologies.

ATF Crime gun trace data: state-level data only but can be obtained for earlier years by public record request.

Fact Sheet by National Shooting Sports Foundation: Why the Firearms Industry Opposes Background Checks.

National Violent Death Reporting System: NVDRS is the only state-based surveillance reporting system that pools data on violent deaths from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database. These sources include state and local medical examiner, coroner, law enforcement, crime lab, and vital statistics records. 

Gallup Poll on household gun ownership.


Tips for managers and editors to help them prepare and support reporters in the field.

Dart Center Executive Director Bruce Shapiro passes on lessons for newsrooms learned from the Virginia Tech shooting.

Quick tips on how to support your reporters.


Quick tips on self-care from Dart Centre Asia Pacific.

Self-care advice from an editor who's been there.