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Build trust through ethical disaster reporting

Perpetuating tropes and sensationalizing disasters in the way we cover them can result in harm for the communities we are trying to serve. Here are some ideas on how to avoid that.

Avoiding news tropes, misrepresentations and sensationalization is key in the responsible reporting of disasters, both natural and man-made. Building trust in the communities affected by these events starts with providing good context and framing to the stories we cover, but this Poynter piece describes five ethical pillars that should always be considered.

Disaster news tropes may capture audiences’ attention to news sites, feeds and networks, but they ultimately frustrate progress in mitigating the short-term and long-term effects of disasters on communities.