Election SOS First Aid Kit: Covering Conflict
This election has many experts and citizens alike worried about a potential conflict. Here’s a roundup of helpful resources if you’re covering violence.
Apply Lessons from Abroad
- We often associate contested, violent elections with unstable governments elsewhere. This year, we might face such a situation here at home. Expert panelists discuss their experiences covering elections abroad here.
Get a Grip on the Basics
- Understand the basics of political violence and learn how to track political violence in your coverage area.
- Then, do a deep dive into how to report on election conflict and how to explain a contested election.
- Next, brush up on covering election violence.
- And, don’t forget to learn about best practices and tips for de-escalating conflict.
- Do not create false narratives when covering protests and be sure when reporting on violence to always give the context of the denominator of peaceful demonstrations.
Learn the Law
- Read our summary of what the military cannot do in the United States during an election.
- Then, make sure not to amplify self-organized armed groups that call themselves “militias.” Avoid giving them the publicity they seek. Also, make sure to emphasize that such groups exist without authorization.
- After that, research the Justice Department’s role on Tuesday and beyond.
- You’ll want to make sure you have a dream team in your corner.
- First, connect with experts on election violence via our Trusted Expert Network.
- Then, reach out to a mediation and peace-building organization in your area.
- Take care of yourself, too!
- Learn about vicarious trauma and protecting yourself.
- Plan to stay safe while covering conflict.
- Also, make sure your newsroom knows how to support you.
- But be sure to build an action plan for yourself, too!