The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.
Whether the topic is street crime, family violence, natural disaster, war or human rights, effective news reporting on traumatic events demands knowledge, skill and support. The Dart Center provides journalists around the world with the resources necessary to meet this challenge, drawing on a global, interdisciplinary network of news professionals, mental health experts, educators and researchers.
The Dart Center’s website provides timely articles, expert interviews, journalist-to-journalist advice, tipsheets and other resources. The website also serves as a multimedia venue for discussion of controversies and breakthroughs in trauma science, policy and media coverage.
Established in 1994, the annual Dart Awards recognize exemplary North American reporting on the impact of violence, crime, disaster and other traumatic events on individuals, families or communities.
Each year the Dart Center brings together distinguished mid-career journalists for an intensive week of seminars about the reporting of traumatic events. Named for psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, M.D., a pioneer in the study of trauma, the Ochberg Fellowships draw journalists from around the U.S. and from other areas of Dart Center global activity, at the present time including Europe, Australia and Latin America.
The Dart Center’s research unit, based at the University of Tulsa Department of Psychology, has conducted pioneering peer-reviewed studies on newsrooms and traumatic stress, and encourages scientific and scholarly inquiry into the impact of news coverage of traumatic events.
The Dart Center develops curriculum modules, self-study units and other materials both for use by journalism students and by working reporters, editors and producers. The Center also helps journalism teachers develop effective trauma curricula.
The Dart Center provides a range of services for working journalists and newsrooms worldwide, including seminars focused on specific events and issues, management and staff briefings, and development of extensive ongoing training programs. The Dart Center also trains and encourages working journalists in providing volunteer education to colleagues through professional organizations and newsrooms.
The Dart Center:
Advocates ethical and thorough reporting of trauma; compassionate, professional treatment of victims and survivors by journalists; and greater awareness by media organizations of the impact of trauma coverage on both news professionals and news consumers.
Educates journalists and journalism students about the science and psychology of trauma and the implications for news coverage.
Provides a professional forum for journalists in all media to analyze issues, share knowledge and ideas, and advance strategies related to the craft of reporting on violence and tragedy.
Creates and sustains interdisciplinary collaboration and communication among news professionals, clinicians, academic researchers and others concerned with violence, conflict and tragedy.