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Best Practices for Reporting on Mass Shootings

About This Course

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 will introduce the first set of best practices created by mental health, suicide prevention and media experts.

What Will I Learn?

  • 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

Who Should Take This Course?

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

Course Instructors

Dr. Dan Reidenberg

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

Kelly McBride is the vice president for academic programs 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. You can learn more about the project at Truth & Trust in Media The New Ethics of Journalism. Her other work involves Poynter’s Sense-Making Project, a Ford Foundation project examining the transformation of journalism from a profession of a few to a civic obligation of many, the effects of technology on democracy, and the media habits of the millennial generation. She conducts workshops in newsrooms and at journalism conventions across the country. Twice she has traveled to South Africa to lead advanced reporting and writing seminars geared toward reporters working in a young democracy. You can follow her on Twitter at @kellymcb.

Training Partners


Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)

The SAVE is the leading national nonprofit suicide prevention organization and has been at the forefront of suicide prevention public messaging for 25 years and continues to engage the public in suicide prevention through the study of messaging on suicide, development and dissemination of messaging campaigns, and providing training and technical assistance to those interested in developing high quality, safe messages.

This $30 webinar is free thanks to the generous support of SAVE.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.