Sensitive Reporting for Connecticut School Mass Killing ?

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(Credit : Dart Center, screenshot)

Amidst all of the news reports about the tragic mass shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut school today, a couple of journalism groups pointed to tips on how to report sensitively.  The DART Center wrote about the shooting and provided links to its guides on how to report on children and mass killings. For example, see “A Reporter’s Lessons from Past Shootings” by Dave Cullen, who reported on the Columbine shootings, and the DART Center’s Tip Sheet on “Mass Killings”

And the Society of Professional Ethics’ ethics committee chairman, Kevin Z. Smith, reminded in tweets:

  • “Please show good taste. No lurid curiosity. Also test accuracy of information. Respect private moments.”
  • “Please be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photos of those affected by tragedy or grief.”
  • “SPJ ethics code reminds us to show compassion to grief victims & special sensitivity in dealing with children.”

The Canadian Journalism Project tweeted out Paul Benedetti’s column on “the ethics of interviewing children and youth.”

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Sensitive reporting of Mass Killing at Connecticut School?

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