Fort Hood Tragedy: Resources for Journalists

The Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas suffered a tragic second mass shooting yesterday when a soldier killed three people and wounded 16 others before fatally turning a gun on himself. The gunman, Army specialist Ivan Lopez, had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and was being treated for mental health issues. Army officials said he had self-diagnosed a traumatic brain injury after he returned from Iraq.

Fort Hood was the site of another deadly rampage in 2009, when a U.S. army major and psychiatrist killed 13 people and injured 30 others in the worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base. In July 2011, another Fort Hood attack was foiled when an Army private was arrested with bomb-making materials and instructions, and was charged with trying to detonate an explosive at a restaurant near the base where soldiers frequently ate. 

The Dart Center has a host of resources and tips for journalists who are tasked with covering this tragedy:


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 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.

A self-study unit on covering terrorism.

A compilation of journalist-to-journalist advice. 

Professor Meg Moritz shares four lessons on covering school shootings.

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

Resources for Covering Mass Shootings: Reacting to the 2010 Cumbria Tragedy, the Dart Center's Gavin Rees reflects on the story 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.

In this video James Grimaldi, staff writer at the Wall Street Journal, talks about how to investigate gun sales.

For those who read German, Gisela Mayer, the mother of victim of the school shooting in Winnenden describes her family's experience of finding itself subject to media attention


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.