Resources for Editors and Reporters Covering the Colorado Springs and UVA shootings

The U.S. has once again been hit with a spate of mass shootings. The Dart Center has a host of resources for newsrooms covering these tragedies and their aftermath. 

On the night of November 13, a shooting took place at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Four of the victims, including the three young men who were killed, were members of the school’s football team. Two others were also injured. 

On November 19, a gunman attacked an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five people were killed and 25 injured. Two patrons of the club were able to subdue the gunman until police arrived. 

LGBTQ resources

Resources on covering campus violence 

  • This resource was published during the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

  • In this tip sheet, Kate Porterfield, consulting clinical psychologist at the Bellevue Hospital Program for Survivors of Torture in New York City, explains how to minimize harm when working with a traumatized young person. 

  • Student journalists and advisers from Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University show how they reported on mass-casualty attacks on their campuses.

Covering guns and gun violence

  • This resource offers a compilation of journalist-to-journalist advice, from those who have covered large-scale shootings.

  • Here, 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.

  • Based on guidance from the families of mass shooting victims, this resource focused on how the media can limit use of shooters' names.

  • The reporter Dave Cullen's lessons from a decade of reporting on the Columbine attacks.

Interviewing and Reporting

  • In this guide journalists, researchers and mental health professionals offer advice on how to working with victims and survivors of traumatic events

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

  • The Dart Centre Style Guide is designed as a quick, authoritative reference for reporters, editors and producers working on tight deadlines. It includes brief evidence-informed guidance on news choices, language usage and ethics in reporting on the impact of trauma on individuals, families and communities; recommendations for appropriate use of relevant psychological and scientific terminology; and special considerations when reporting on consequential trauma-laden issues.

  • There is no infallible method for interviewing survivors and witnesses to trauma. Each case is unique and presents its own challenges. But this tip sheet brings together the collective experience of the Dart Centre Asia Pacific’s principal trainers to provide some general advice for interviewing in the aftermath of trauma, and recommendations for before, during, and after the interview.

  • Mexican journalist Marcela Turati has reported on different types of violence for 12 years. These tips are drawn from her workshop How to Cover Pain, and can be used as a roadmap to conduct a humane, sensitive, and respectful interview. 

  • Newsrooms will be working through trauma-related imagery. Best practice on the safe handling of such material can be found here in the form of a short introduction and a full manual


  • This self-directed course on Poynter will teach you how traumatic stress affects victims, how to interview trauma victims with compassion and respect, and how to take care of your own health after covering a traumatic event. 

  • From Black Lives Matter to #MeToo, many reporters feel emotional distress covering the violence and abuse their communities face. Here are expert tips on how to navigate that stress.

Advice for Managers and Editors

  • A collaboration between ACOS Alliance and Dart Centre Asia Pacific, this guide is designed to help editors and managers understand and support their teams. It is divided into five sections covering both general information and specific suggestions and tips for working with freelancers. 

  • These tips for managers and editors help them prepare and support reporters in the field.

  • This Trauma and Journalism handbook distills the expertise of international trauma experts.

  • This six-part podcast series from the International Journalists’ Network features interviews with reporters and mental health experts. 

Resources for survivors and their loved ones