Tips & Tools

Tragic Anniversaries

The “anniversary story” is a staple of the news business. And anniversaries of tragedy can be resonant events for survivors and communities. But what is responsible coverage? How are anniversary stories different from breaking news?  When does anniversary coverage promote healing – and when does it open old wounds?


Dart Resources

  • Exemplary Journalism

    Remembering September 11

    Anniversaries mark progress and the passage of time. They can also conjure memories we may not always want to face. On this anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Dart Center calls attention to a uniquely eloquent journalistic record of the attacks' long aftermath; to a powerful tenth anniversary essay on personal loss and collective historical memory; and to resources available as we seek to better cover, and understand, the longterm effects of horrific events.

  • In Depth

    Living Katrina: 10 Years Later

    On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we asked seven journalists, a news executive and a clinician from the Gulf Coast to reflect on their experiences and what they’ve learned in the decade since. Scroll down for excerpts, and click to the right for full pieces from Eve Troeh, Clarence Williams, Stan Tiner, Debbie Fleming Caffery, John Pope, Joy Osofsky, June Cross, Russell Lewis and Mark Schleifstein.

  • In Depth

    Anzac Day: Ethics of Remembrance

    As hundreds of thousands prepare for this Saturday's 100 year anniversary of Anzac Day, journalists must ensure they are promoting healing, not reopening old wounds.

  • In Depth

    Five Years, Or Three Centuries?

    Amy Wilentz, journalist and author of "Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti," reflects on the five-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.

  • Excerpt

    Gavin Rees On "The Trauma Factor"

    In a new book about challenges facing journalism, Dart Centre Europe Director Gavin Rees contributes a chapter about recent insights into trauma science and what journalists and media scholars can learn about them.

More Features »

Outside Resources

  • Covering the 9/11 Anniversary

    Poynter Online

    A set of resources from David Shedden at the Poynter Institute related to the September 11th attacks.

  • Information for the Media

    International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

    An excellent compilation of general information, fact sheets, and specialized trauma resources for journalists and media professionals.

  • Terrorism and Disasters

    International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

    A variety of educational materials for clinicians and individuals to use in response to terror attacks around the world.

  • Anniversary Reactions to the September 11th Attacks

    National Center for PTSD

    On the anniversary of traumatic events, some people may find that they experience an increase in distressing memories of the event. This fact sheet examines responses to the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

  • Covering Columbine

    This documentary, available online and on DVD, examines the impact of the news coverage of the Columbine High School shootings.