Equal parts advocate, think tank and educator, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has worked to foster ethical and educated media coverage of traumatic events since its establishment in 1999 at the University of Washington. The Dart Center is generously supported by the Dart Foundation which is led by Ken Dart, along with fellow family and board members, Claire, Robert and Ariane Dart.
It has linked journalists, mental health professionals, researchers and educators to create a network of working scholars who improve the quality of reporting on trauma as well as raise ethical awareness of the implications and psychological repercussions of covering and reading such stories. Since 2009, the Dart Center has been located at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, with a $7 million, 5-year gift to support core programs.
Oftentimes, journalists and consumers can overlook what is entailed when covering a traumatic story. These events and corresponding press stories span over mental health, legal and ethical obligations and the freedom of expression. The Dart Center, which now exists on the international level, works to change that through advocacy and education tactics and funding.
Amid a fellowship program, awards in Excellence in Reporting on Victims and Violence and leading research on the psychological impacts of reporting on traumatic events, the Dart Center is a leader in the rapidly-growing field intersecting journalism, trauma, violence and conflict.
To date, the Dart Center has facilitated conferences, conducted educational programs and funded missions in 25 different nations.