Join us Feb. 11 for “Reporting on Child Abuse and Family Violence”

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As New Mexicans struggle with the rape and murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens, journalists covering the story face a variety of challenges. Unfortunately, Victoria’s story is just one of many situations of child abuse and family violence in our state.

New Mexico has some of the nation’s highest rates of poverty, drug abuse and domestic violence. Studies have found that a high percentage of children in New Mexico are exposed to multiple incidents of trauma by an early age. Reporting ethically and insightfully on issues of violence and abuse of children is the responsibility of journalists and news organizations.

For this reason, the Society of Professional Journalists, Rio Grande Chapter, in partnership with the UNM Department of Communication and Journalism, is collaborating with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma to offer a training on February 11, 2017 to improve reporting on child abuse and family violence.

The Dart Center, a project of the Columbia Journalism School, is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy, and has trained journalists around the work on covering violence and its aftermath.

This half-day workshop will guide journalists on how to cover violence and trauma in our community, with a particular emphasis on the abuse and neglect of children as well as how to take care of oneself when covering difficult stories.

The training will be led by Donna DeCesare, an award-winning photojournalist who has told stories about children and violence for nearly 30 years. Her work has focused primarily on Central and South America (including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia), as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border. She is tenured professor of visual journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Tickets are $10 for SPJ members and $20 for non-members. Register here.

To join or renew your membership, visit

For additional information, contact SPJ Rio Grande board member Rachel Sams:

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One thought on “Join us Feb. 11 for “Reporting on Child Abuse and Family Violence”

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