145 Killed in Taliban Attack on School: Journalist Resources

A Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, left 145 people dead, more than 100 of them children. Among the dead were nine Taliban gunmen, according to the army press office.

A Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday morning left 145 people dead, more than 100 of them children, leaving a nation grasping for answers. Among the dead were nine Taliban gunmen, according to Peshawar police official Mohammad Aijaz Khan

Six Taliban gunman stormed the military-run school at around 10:00 AM, opening fire on students and taking dozens of hostages. Some students managed to escape the school compound, according to local media in Peshawar, which is about 75 miles from the country's capital, Islamabad.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left the capital for the site of the attack, and declared a state of emergency in Peshawar following one of the worst school shootings in modern times. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said they were intent on killing older students. Most victims were between the ages of 12 and 16, according to officials who spoke to the Associated Press.

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” said one parent, Tahir Ali, according to the Associated Press. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

The Dart Center has tips and resources for journalists who are tasked with covering mass tragedies involving children:


Quick tips for interviewing children.

The Dart Center's comprehensive guide, "Covering Children and Trauma."

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network's resources on responding to a school crisissuggestions for educators, suggestions for talking to children, tips for youth talking to journalists, parent guidelines for helping youthage-related reactions to a traumatic event, and psychological impacts to consider following a recent shooting.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Tips for Talking to Children and Youth After Traumatic Events.

American Psychological Association's guide to help children manage their distress following a school shooting.

A fact sheet on the effects of trauma-related news media on children.

An overview of current research on the impacts of media coverage of tragedy on children.

Oklahoma University's Terrorism & Disaster Center


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


A series of resources on covering school shootings, with lessons from student journalists who covered shootings at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech.


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.