April 18, 2007

TIME OUT: Tragedies & Journalists

Watching the media frenzy on the VT shootings, I'm disgusted on how many "professional" journalists bullied victims and their families into crying on camera. Not only that, but in the rush to be the first to report any bit of news, these "professionals" reported one-source stories from anonymous sources that ended up being false.

Anyway, here are a few resources for reporting tragedy.

Security on Campus offers resources like "Covering Crime on College Campuses," Campus Police Websites, and Campus Crime Research.

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder offers a series of tipsheets on how to report on trauma and PTSD related issues including: PTSD in Children and Adolescents, Community Violence, and What every good interview should know about PTSD.

The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma offers several guides on covering tragedy, children and trauma, school shootings and interviewing victims.

Coincidentally, News University, a program sponsored by Poynter, is partnering with the Dart Center for an online class called "Journalism and Trauma." The online course is free to registered users of NewsU.