Paris Attacks: Resources for Coverage

France has declared a national state of emergency and closed its borders after more than 100 people were killed in shooting and bombing attacks across Paris on Friday. Below are tip sheets and other resources for journalists covering this evolving story.

More than 100 people were killed in shooting and bombing attacks across Paris on Friday evening in what President Francois Hollande called "terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale" on his country. The French government declared a state of national emergency and closed the country's borders following at least four apparently coordinated shooting and bombing attacks. 

The deadliest appears to have targeted the Bataclan concert hall, where as of this writing, dozens of people are being held hostage. Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors.

Another shooting occured near the former headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, where less than a year earlier 12 of the satirical magazine's staff members were killed by Islamic militants.

French news services say a bomb also went off near the country's premiere sports stadium, where France and Germany were in the midst of a soccer match. President Francois Hollande was in attendance before being evacuated.

President Obama offered his support from the White House. “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” he said. “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

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


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 2011 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, from those who have covered large-scale shootings.

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: The Dart Center's Gavin Rees reflects on the 2010 Cumbria Tragedy 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.

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

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

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

The International Center for Journalists's guide on Journalism and Trauma

Recovery from Unnatural Death: A guide by psychiatrist Ted Rynearson for friends and family of someone who has died violently or suddenly.

Working with victims and survivors: Journalists, researchers and mental health professionals offer advice on how to deal with people caught up in tragic events.

Poynter's best practices for reaching and interviewing victims of trauma.



Tips for working with traumatic imagery.

Quick tips on self-care from Dart Centre Asia Pacific.

Self-care advice from an editor who's been there.

The Committee to Protect Journalists' advice for covering crime and terrorist scenes. 



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

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.