News industry launches toolkit for coverage of trauma and disaster


Leaders in journalist safety have unveiled a new suite of online resources designed to help better prepare newsrooms, journalists and educators for coverage of trauma, violence and disaster.  

Trauma Aware Journalism (TAJ): A News Industry Toolkit features a series of free "micro-learning" videos, online resources and study guides on how journalists can best cover people and communities that are suffering, as well as on how to protect the mental health of news professionals.

The project is produced by the Dart Center for Journalism and TraumaCBC/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma

"Journalists worldwide cover the most vulnerable people while themselves contending with the impact of stress and trauma," said Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School. "This new free toolkit builds on years of journalistic innovation and evidence-based trauma science to bring news professionals and students alike foundational skills to strengthen reporting and enhance resilience." 

The TAJ videos showcase experts and leading journalists sharing their best tips on everything from interviewing techniques, to ethics, to taking care of yourself, says project lead Dave Seglins, a journalist at CBC News and a fellow of the Dart Center.

"We are constantly covering horrible events and tragedies. Many newsrooms and journalists have had zero training or preparation," said Seglins. "We hope these tools can help to change that."

Jane Hawkes, co-founder and executive producer of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, said the TAJ project aims to fill a long-standing gap in training and education.

"We hope these tools are especially useful in journalism schools, to help the next generation start their careers on the best footing possible," said Hawkes. "The video series offers a unique opportunity to hear how some of the best practitioners in the world handle the significant effects of trauma on others and themselves." 

This marks the launch of Phase 1 of the project and includes videos (offered in English, and versions with French subtitles) and instruction on eight topics: trauma interviewing, planning for difficult stories, leadership, reporting on vulnerable communities, ethics, traumatic imagery, interviewing children and journalist self-care.

Project partners hope to expand the library in coming years to include additional topics including media peer support, emerging research, newsroom protocols, enhanced counselling for news professionals, among others. The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma thanks CNW for supporting this announcement.

Learn more:

For further information: contact, or: Dave Seglins, Journalist & Well-being Champion, TAJ Executive Producer, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,; Ariel Ritchin, Senior Producer and Program Director, TAJ Executive Producer, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma,; Jane Hawkes, TAJ Executive Producer, Co-founder, Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma,


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