Support the Dart Center on #GivingTuesday

The year-end holidays mark a season of joy, but this December our holiday hopes clash with lingering shock at recent events in Paris, Beirut, Colorado Springs, Bamako, Tel Aviv and beyond.

As you contemplate your personal wishes for the coming New Year, I would also ask you to think about the journalists around the world who have brought these and other difficult, essential stories to us. And I would ask you to consider making a year-end donation to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, because that is our mission: to help news professionals tell the hardest stories better.

The Dart Center, a project of Columbia Journalism School, was established 16 years ago to help journalists report effectively and compassionately on victims of violence, conflict and tragedy; to link the rapidly-evolving science of trauma with the highest standards of journalism ethics, inquiry and storytelling; and to support news professionals and news organizations contending daily with the impact of the most challenging assignments. We accomplish all of this with a small staff and a broader community of journalists, clinicians and researchers who donate their time and expertise.

A few highlights of the last 12 months:

  • We’ve provided direct, hands-on trauma-reporting training to nearly 500 journalists on five continents
  • Our flagship Ochberg Fellowship brought 13 journalists from 6 countries to New York City for an in-depth week-long seminar on covering trauma
  • The biennial Dart Centre Asia Pacific Fellowship brought 14 journalists from across the region to Hong Kong for intensive trauma-reporting and self-care workshops
  • The 2015 Dart Awards honored exemplary trauma reporting in the Texas Observer, Huffington Post, The Post and Courier and The Baltimore Sun.
  • We organized a regional two-day workshop in Phoenix, Arizona, on covering guns and gun violence.
  • In New York City we hosted a mindfulness training for journalists in collaboration with teachers from the monastic community of poet, author and activist Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • We delivered a four-day crisis reporting safety course to 16 freelance journalists from nine countries, and helped launch an industry-wide freelance safety initiative involving dozens of news organizations worldwide.
  • We’ve led trainings, workshops and panels for journalists from New York and London to South Ukraine, Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Norway, Germany, El Salvador and the Caribbean.
  • Through our website we launched new tip sheets for journalists on managing the death of a colleague; vicarious trauma and numerous other new features, interviews and resources.

Given recent events, I will tell you that on a deeply personal level, I consider the Dart Center’s work a form of peacemaking. Building journalists’ capacity to report thoroughly and accurately on violence, war and other abuses and their aftermath is more essential than ever as societies wrestle with how to deal with terrorism and crime, how to aid refugees, whether to go to war and how to protect the most vulnerable citizens.

So as 2015 comes to a close, I hope you will consider a donation to support the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma's ongoing work. To make a contribution (fully tax-deductible in the U.S.), visit the secure Columbia online donation site, in the "Select a Designation" drop-down menu choose "Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma" and follow the online prompts.

On behalf of my colleagues, warm wishes for the holiday season and New Year.


Bruce Shapiro

Executive Director