Your mental wellbeing is going to be important when you are faced with reporting a tense, politically charged story for an extended time duration. Prepare yourself for the long haul and a situation whose great intensity is unlikely to subside anytime soon.
Resources for War & Civil Conflict, Self-Care & Peer Support
You are reporting on an important story with wide ranging personal and national impacts. It is important you understand and prepare for what are likely to be testing circumstances. Do not underestimate these multi-faceted challenges.
Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol, more than 25,000 National Guard were deployed ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th. In anticipation of hostility or unrest, the Dart Center has compiled a host of resources that can help journalists and newsrooms as they take steps to prepare for what could be a volatile day, or period.
Covering civil unrest can be frightening and dangerous. A crowd may turn violent with little warning and police can target journalists or mistake them for rabble rousers. It’s particularly challenging to maintain social distancing during a riot, so take extra precautions to stay on the edge for quick exit. Bring extra masks, gloves and sanitizer for gear.
In September 2017, the Dart Center hosted journalists and Ochberg Fellows Finbarr O'Reilly and Thomas Brennan for a conversation about their joint memoir, Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Conflict Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. Scroll down for the full event video and a lightly edited transcript.
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.
At the 2017 Global Media Forum in Germany, a panel discussion featuring conflict photographers Capucine Granier-Deferre and Patrick Tombola, and Dart Centre Europe's Gavin Rees.
Yamiche Alcindor, Donna DeCesare, Danny Spriggs and Bruce Shapiro discussed practical tactics for assessing risk and and staying safe while reporting. They shared lessons from covering protests, youth gangs, earthquakes and toxic environmental sites among others.