As Arizona Fire Blazes On, Tips on Covering Disaster

In the largest loss of American firefighters since September 11, 2001, nineteen firefighters were killed while fighting a fast-moving wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona on Sunday. As firefighters continue to try to contain the blaze, we have assembled resources for journalists covering the unfolding natural disaster:

Dart Resources

The Dart Center's quick tips, in-depth resources and links to other organizations on "Covering Disasters."

Resources for Covering Bushfires, assembled in response to the 2009 fires that swept across Australia. 

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

An interview with Irving Redlener, M.D. on the role that news media play in aiding recovery and drawing lessons to better manage future catastrophes.

Guidance on working with emergency services from Dr. Anne Eyre, specialist in trauma and disaster management.

Manoucheka Celeste, Haitian-born journalist and media scholar, shares advice on reporting natural disasters. 

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

Tip Sheets on how to effectively cover a disaster and self-care amid disaster from Joe Hight, director of information and development for The Oklahmonan/

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

Joe Hight, former managing editor of the Oklahoman, who oversaw the paper's award-winning coverage of the Murrah Federal Building bombing,  provides tips on Self-Care For Journalists Amid Disaster, as well as a five step plan on Covering Disaster Effectively.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings, psychologist and Dart Center Research Director, Elana Newman, compiled tips on how journalists leave a tragedy.

Australian psychiatrist Alexander McFarlane offers guidance on mental health issues and how they evolve in regions devastated by natural disasters.

Dart Center Executive Director Bruce Shapiro spoke in Melbourne, Australia about reckoning with the aftermath of disaster.

Dart Centre Asia Pacific culled the extensive experience with disasters by Australian journalists, researchers and mental health professionals for a series of tip sheets:

How to deal with people caught up in tragic events.

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

Suggestions to assist healthier newsrooms and better journalism, based on research on well-being and resilience, and practical experience of news professionals in the field.


The International Center for Journalists's two-part guide on Disaster and Crisis Coverage and Journalism and Trauma

Natural Disaster resources assembled by Google, including Google's person-finder.