Many journalists understand that children worldwide are profoundly affected by violence, poverty, war and displacement. Yet reporters are often under-prepared to report knowledgeably on policies and programs centered on early childhood development - cost-effective, evidence-based ways to disrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence, level the playing field, and build peaceful societies. Despite dramatic developments in neuroscience, the importance of nurturing early brain development is not sufficiently reflected in the news agenda, and as a consequence is inadequately understood by the public or reflected in the priorities of global civil society.
To help journalists and news organizations around the world improve their reporting on early childhood experience and brain development, the Dart Center organized a reporting institute for 45 journalists from 26 countries March 9-12, 2017 at Columbia Journalism School in New York City. The institute was designed for reporters covering a wide range of issues, from local education and social policy to refugees, conflict and international public health. It focused on advancements in neuroscience and their implications for child development, concentrating especially on vulnerable children living in poverty and constantly changing, unstable environments. The institute also addressed national and international policy on health, education and related fields. Other topics included impacts of stress on early brain development, successful intervention models and the effects of technology.
Resources, including expert briefing materials, suggested readings and full conference video, can be found below.