Coverage of trauma and extreme human distress is a core part of journalism. These tips are for managers and editors to help them prepare and support the reporters who do this difficult and important work.
Resources for Tip Sheets
Most journalists face an inevitability in their careers: They must cover a tragedy and interview people who are pinned against a wall of grief. The wall blocks the victims from seeing that their lives may improve tomorrow. They only see who's in front of them and feel the pain of that moment.
Young journalists will often encounter violence among their first reporting experiences. The effects of catastrophe and cruelty are newsworthy, particularly when victims are numerous, are famous or are symbolic of something that we all relate to and hold dear: a child killed in a schoolroom; a nurse held hostage in a hospital.
Whether clinicians like it or not, children and families affected by trauma are routinely covered by the media. When that happens, clinicians often face difficult choices.
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An overview of current scholarship regarding how different, contextual approaches to reporting news influence consumers’ knowledge, perceptions and opinions, and the implications for researchers and for journalists.