Toolbox Newsletter XXII

March 23, 2021

Covering Crime and Trauma

I had originally planned to post about transcription tools today. But in light of what happened in Atlanta last week and Boulder yesterday, I thought it would be prudent to write about resources I wish I didn’t have to post to Journalist’s Toolbox.

The Toolbox was in its infancy when the shootings at Columbine High School occurred. I posted a few guidebooks on school violence and a link to a mass shootings database. There was very little on how to interview victims of a crime or handle these stories.

Thankfully, we have many more resources today, and I’ve posted them on several Toolbox pages:

Covering Mass Shootings: Sadly, the resources on this page continue to grow. We have links to several mass shootings databases, resources for interviewing witnesses and victims and so much more.

Covering Hate: How do we cover hate groups without amplifying their messages? How do we talk to victims of hate crimes?

School Violence: This page has an archive of past coverage as well as tipsheets on interviewing victims. There’s a lengthy list of tools on covering bullying and cyberbullying. An invaluable resource on deadline.

Covering Protests: A long list of links about covering protests that turn violent, including safety, what to do if you’re arrested and more.

Crime: Databases, research and other tools.

Medical/Health: Includes resources on mental health for journalists and for writing about the topic.

Public Safety: Tools for covering natural and manmade disasters, including tips on how to stay safe. We also have several databases linked off this page.

Expert Sources: How do we find diverse sources when covering these breaking stories. This page is full of free databases of people who are willing to talk to reporters. Just be mindful to research the person and don’t just rely on the databases.

Many of the resources listed here come from the Dart Center and the Global Investigative Journalists Network, among others. If you need resources on deadline, follow me on @journtoolbox. I try to share them there as news breaks.

My suggestion? Bookmark these resources and share them with your entire staff or classroom.

And hope you’ll never need them …

Around the Web …

Some useful tools I’ve discovered through search, friends and readers …

In Quotes …

“The First Amendment guarantees a free press; the press itself must guarantee a fair one.”

--Allen H. Neuharth


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