International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma Receives $5 Million in Funding Over Five Years

Posted 1 July 2004 in StressPoints by ISTSS

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a Seattle-based international resource on news media coverage of violence, has received five years of continued support from the Dart Foundation, with grants that will total more than $5 million.

The Dart Center at the University of Washington will receive its primary support from the Michigan-based Dart Foundation through 2008, according to Roger Simpson, Dart Center executive director.

“In four years, the Dart Center has earned a clear national identity as the authoritative resource for journalists and news organizations about coverage of violence,” Simpson said. “This generous funding from the Dart Foundation follows increasing evidence of the industry’s recognition of the importance of our work.”

Simpson said the foundation’s grants will enable the Dart Center to increase service to the news media and journalism schools, work toward more effective coverage of violence, and do more to raise awareness of the emotional challenges facing both survivors of violence and the journalists who report on them.

The Dart Center also:

  • Honors exemplary newspaper reporting on victims of violence with the annual $10,000 Dart Award.
  • Provides annual fellowships for mid-career journalists; more than 30 Dart Center Ochberg Fellows have studied ways to report effectively about violence and its victims.
  • Trains journalists and journalism educators about reporting on violence.

In addition to its headquarters in Seattle, the Dart Center maintains an East Coast field office and a European center in London, works actively in Australia and has served as a resource for journalists in the Balkans region, Rwanda, Guatemala and South Africa.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Dart Foundation provided a special grant to enable the Dart Center to maintain an office in New York City for more than six months expressly to meet with journalists and learn from their experiences .

Simpson, a member of the UW Communication Department faculty, was named director when the Dart Center opened in 1999 and will continue in that position through 2008. An executive committee of journalists, educators and behavioral experts shapes policy for the center.

The Dart Center’s Web site reports on violence coverage worldwide, including new research findings, and provides features on journalists who have covered traumatic events. For more information, visit the center’s Web site at www.dartcenter.org or contact Roger Simpson at newsboy@u.washington.edu. Simpson also is the ISTSS Media SIG chair.