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Compassion goes a long way when reporting on tragedies

April 24, 2013

During a recent symposium presented by the Dart Center on Journalism and Trauma and Columbia Journalism School’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism in New York City, panelists shared an overarching message for reporters speaking to the grieving: Show compassion and acknowledge loss.

However, as reports, it’s not always easy to break through the “mountains of information and hearsay” that surround these events.

Andy Carvin, senior strategist for NPR, describes the combination of a breaking-news situation such as Sandy Hook or Boston and social media as being like a “game of telephone run amok.”

He suggests exercising “the right to slow down” to check with colleagues and ensure accuracy, despite the “frenetic” demands of your Twitter feed.


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