Best Practices for Reporting on Mass Shootings


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Best Practices for Reporting on Mass Shootings

Helpful journalism tips when covering a mass shooting.

Type: Webinar

Originally Broadcast On: March 30, 2017

Time Estimate: One hour



SKU: NUWEB08-17 Category: Tag:


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Since Columbine, there have been an increasing number of mass shootings, nearly all of which have been high-profile, breaking-news events. Research has shown a clear contagion effect from these reports, especially when media outlets repeatedly share images, descriptions of the perpetrator, stories about the victims and suspicions about the mental health of the shooter.

This webinar introduces the first set of best practices created by mental health, suicide prevention and media experts.


  • How harmful reporting contributes to copycat shootings.
  • How helpful reporting contributes to educating the public and reducing the risk of contagion.
  • Tips on what to report and what not to report when covering a mass shooting.


Reporters, editors, producers, newsroom leaders and anyone in the media industry who covers breaking news.



Dr. Dan Reidenberg

Dr. Dan Reidenberg is Executive Director of SAVE, Managing Director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention, US Representative to the IASP and is Co-Chair of the International Media and Suicide Task Force. He serves on the editorial advisory boards for The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Crisis, International Journal of Emergency Services, American College of Forensic Examiners, Annals of Psychotherapy and Integrative Medicine and Esperanza magazine and is a reviewer for SAMHSA, National Lifeline, and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Kelly McBride

Kelly McBride is the vice president at The Poynter Institute. She is a writer, teacher and one of the country’s leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty of The Poynter Institute since 2002 and is editor, along with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute, of The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century.