This report is the first to map in detail the risks that traumatic stress and moral injury pose to those working in documentary and factual TV. In releasing it, the Dart Centre is calling for informed policies around the management of traumatic content, greater awareness of mental health, and more attention on ethical and emotional challenges of working with vulnerable contributors.
Resources for Interviewing, Featured Articles
Sexual harassment is at the top of the news agenda, and every industry - from politics to arts and entertainment to journalism - is being called to account. Like so many of their counterparts in other fields, women journalists contend with unwanted presumptions and the threat of gender-based violence. The Dart Center asked nine leading women in journalism to share their experiences and to reflect on their own best practices.
In the summer of 2016, in advance of a two-day conference commemorating the centennial of the Pulitzer Prize, Dart Center researchers interviewed 10 Pulitzer Prize winners from the past 20 years who were honored for their coverage of traumatic events or investigative reporting on trauma-related issues. Navigate through sections of this article to find pieces by: Alex Hannaford, who wrote on the relationship between Pulitzer winners and their sources, and on the impact of Charles Porter's 1996 Prize-winning photo; Elana Newman, who gathered advice from honorees on best practices in trauma reporting, and created teaching notes for the classroom with Matthew Ricketson and Autumn Slaughter; Matthew Ricketson, who also wrote a conference recap for those who could not be in attendance.
In her book The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts, Laura Tillman examines the lasting effects of a deeply troubling crime—the brutal murder of three young children by their parents in the border city of Brownsville, Texas. Over six years, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family’s neighbors, relatives and teachers, as well as one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio, whom she corresponded with for years. Over the course of their correspondence, Tillman wrestled with a series of tough questions: In the pursuit of a story, what constitutes manipulation? Is some degree of manipulation in this context inevitable? Is it wrong for a murderer to be gratified by the result?
Journalists Alex Hannaford, Jess Hurd, Jason Parkinson and Raniah Salloum spoke with the Dart Center about the reporting challenges in covering stories of migration and refugees, and clinical psychologist Katy Robjant shared techniques for interviewing victims of trauma, as well as self-care tips for those covering the on-going crisis.
The daylong symposium: Sandy Hook and Beyond: Breaking News, Trauma and Aftermath took place on Monday at Columbia University. Regional and national journalists were joined by community leaders, mental health experts, policy advocates and Sandy Hook families and shared perspectives, discussed lessons learned and pointed the way towards responsible news coverage going forward.
A mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut left 28 people dead, including 20 children. See the Dart Center's resources for journalists covering this tragedy.
Five years after Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast faces another disaster–the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A staff writer for The New Orleans Times-Picayune reflects on how lessons from the storm shape coverage of the latest crisis.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is different from a war or an earthquake, but the traumatic impact is just as real. The challenge to journalists is to report the slow-motion disaster while seeking stories of resilience and possible recovery.