This 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 such as racism and sexual violence.
Resources for Featured Articles, Terrorism
The following tips are some safety considerations for journalists and editors. Among issues to consider are potential mass casualty assaults on infrastructure or places where many people gather, as well as planned assassinations on politicians or other public figures.
Mass shootings challenge the skill, capacity and ethics of news professionals. Below please find tip sheets and other resources for journalists covering these tragedies.
Seamus Kelters, who died suddenly on September 27, 2017, was an influential chronicler of Northern Ireland’s civil conflict and co-author of Lost Lives: The Story of the Men, Women and Children Who Died As A Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles. An early Dart Center Ochberg Fellow, he played a central role in the evolution of trauma-aware journalism. We asked several friends and colleagues for remembrances of Seamus and his work. Below, reflections and recollections by Susan McKay, Scott North, Donna DeCesare, Frank Ochberg, Joe Hight, Elana Newman, Gavin Rees and Bruce Shapiro. Scroll down for excerpts, and click to the right to read the full pieces.
Covering terrorism presents myriad challenges for journalists. How can stories of victims and survivors contribute to the public's understanding of current issues while treating those left reeling with dignity and respect? What responsibility do journalists have in helping audiences understand the motivations of a perpetrator of violence? Here, three experts offer advice on covering traumatic experiences as they relate to radicalisation and terrorism.
Anniversaries mark progress and the passage of time. They can also conjure memories we may not always want to face. On this anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Dart Center calls attention to a uniquely eloquent journalistic record of the attacks' long aftermath; to a powerful tenth anniversary essay on personal loss and collective historical memory; and to resources available as we seek to better cover, and understand, the longterm effects of horrific events.
Belgium has raised its threat status to the maximum level after at least 31 people were killed in terrorist attacks across Brussels on Tuesday. On Sunday, at least 69 people were killed and around 300 were wounded in an apparent suicide blast in a park in Lahore, Pakistan. Below are tip sheets and other resources for journalists covering these evolving stories.
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.