May 23, 2013
In light of newspaper layoffs and in the interests of continued professional education, we at Ceasefire are proud to continue our free online advisory course for journalists. This week's topic: how do you report violent death?
Horrific acts such as today’s Woolwhich “Machete” attack tend to be cause for confusion. There are scattered witnesses, garbled video evidence, police press releases, and a line of hungry editors breathing heavily down your neck. Someone is dead; there are sensitivities to consider – they have loved ones, a family, friends. Others have witnessed the killing; they are likely to be traumatised. Wrong-headed reporting may even cause panic.
The scenario may seem too difficult to bear, but experienced journalists have been doing this for many years. Once you have this down it’s amazing how easy you’ll find it to report violent death.