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Panel Explores Covering Communities in Crisis

March 2, 2011

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University will host a national panel on ethical considerations for journalists who cover violence and tragedies in communities.

Held in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Tucson, the program will focus on how journalists can ethically cover communities facing crises, such as riots, natural disasters or acts of terrorism or violence.

“Communities in Crisis: Ethical Considerations for Journalists” is held in partnership with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Valley of the Sun chapter.

Panelists include Victor Merina, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times who is now a senior correspondent and special projects editor for Reznet, a website focusing on American Indian issues; and Ina Jaffe, a national correspondent for National Public Radio. Jaffe, who is based in Los Angeles, has covered stories such as elections, natural disasters and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The panel will be moderated by Meg Spratt, director of the Dart Center’s programs for the western United States.

The event, which is part of the Cronkite School’s “Must See Mondays” speaker series, is free of charge and open to the public.

“We believe this is an important discussion to have, and we hope that victims’ rights groups, community representatives and other stakeholders will come and participate,” said Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger.

The session will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 7, in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum on the second floor of the Cronkite building at 555 N. Central Ave. on ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus.