• Fact Sheet

    Jan 1 2009

    Covering Trauma: Impact on Journalists

    An overview of current research on the occupational hazards for journalists covering traumatic events, the risk factors that aggravate those effects and some suggestions for mitigating those factors.

  • Tip Sheet

    Jul 15 2011

    Reporting on Sexual Violence

    Quick tips on covering sexual violence, from preparation to writing the story.

  • In Depth

    PTSD 101

    Other Responses

    There are psychiatric disorders other than PTSD and ASD that follow traumatic events. Most commonly, the diagnosis is an Adjustment Disorder.

  • Tip Sheet

    Tragedies & Journalists

    II. Writing About Victims

    Focus on the person's life. Find out what made the person special: personality, beliefs, environment (surroundings, hobbies, family and friends), and likes and dislikes. Treat the person's life as carefully as a photographer does in framing a portrait.

  • Journal Library

    Children's Issues

    A list of academic publications that deal with child and adolescent psychology and psychiatry.

  • Custom title

    Breaking Bad News

    II. How to Prepare Yourself

    Try beforehand to find out, as far as possible:

    • The location of the body, or the injured colleague, and whether next-of-kin are going to be able to visit (many bereaved wish to do so);
    • Exactly what happened (as far as is known at this point), the circumstances, where they were, what they were doing, the details of their death or injury, the condition of the body.
    • Experience suggests that bereaved family members often want to know this information in considerable — and accurate and honest — detail. Be prepared to help them find out everything they need to know.
  • Online Learning

    Self-Study Unit 3: Photography & Trauma

    Photojournalists are part of the team of first responders whenever a tragedy occurs. They are there to document the news event in pictures and their work can have a strong and lasting impact on the public consciousness and themselves.

  • Online Learning

    Self-Study Unit 4: The First 24 Hours

    II. The People

    The people involved in a major traumatic event are connected in a web of social and governmental relations. At the scene of the event, there will be victims, friends and family of victims who have come to the scene, and curious by-standers - some of them valuable witnesses, others eager for media exposure but with little substantive information to offer.

  • Online Learning

    Self-Study Unit 2: Covering Terrorism

    VII. Preparation

    For the first time, many media companies have begun systematically to plan for emergency coverage of traumatic events.

  • Online Learning

    Self-Study Unit 1: Journalism & Trauma


    By now, having completed this module, you should know what traumatic stress is; what PTSD, ASD and secondary traumatic stress effects are; what the effects of traumatic stress are; why it is important for journalists to know about these effects; how to interview people who have experienced a traumatic event; how journalists can deal with a stressful work life; and where to get more information for continued learning.