Resources for the Media
It is important to remember that trafficking-whether forced labor or sexual exploitation-does not just occur overseas. The United Nations has identified the United States as one of the largest countries of destination for trafficked victims. It is critical that reporters seek to expose the problem in their own backyards. That is the first step to ending trafficking.
Sexual trafficking is a particularly challenging issue to cover not only because it is hard to track statistically, but because it is a dangerous story. In some places, it poses a tangible risk to reporters who seek to expose this international crisis. And even when not in personal danger, reporters must take care of themselves when covering traumatic events. Finally, it is of the utmost importance to protect the integrity and privacy of victims. Though it is always desirable to put a "face" to the issue, the media must be mindful of victims' experiences and vulnerabilities.
This page provides journalists with tools to cover this international and local crisis.
On the dangers of covering sexual trafficking:
- Sherry Ricchiardi, "Letter from the Balkans: An Underreported Horror," American Journalism Review (August/September 2003)
- International Federation of Journalists' Draft Guidelines and Principles for reporting on issues involving children:
http://www.csecworldcongress.org/en/yokohama/Press/index.htm (click on Media Guidelines to download the PDF)
Journalism Ethics Resources:
The DART Center for Journalism and Trauma offers numerous resources for journalists covering traumatic events:
- DART Center
- DART: Zagreb Trauma Conference
- DART: Interviewing Victims:
- DART: Children and Trauma
- DART: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- DART: Self Care for Journalists
- DART: Sexual Violence
- DART: Best Practices in Trauma Reporting (PDF)
- DART: Guide for First Responders
- DART: Guide for Journalists seeking a psychotherapist
- DART: A Victim's View on how Journalists Should Cover Trauma
- DART: Photography and Trauma
DART: Journalism and Trauma:
- The goal of this module is to explain what traumatic stress is and why it is useful for journalists to know about its effects.
The International Journalists' Network (IJN) likewise provides helpful guidelines and tips:
Thanks to Sherry Ricchiardi, Professor at the Indiana University School of Journalism and Senior Writer for the American Journalism Review, for her invaluable assistance in developing this page.