Tips for clinicians working with the media

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Clinicians working on college campuses acquire years of training in such fields as psychology, social work, public health, sociology, among others that shape the theoretical approach they use as therapists. Field practicums provide the real-world training necessary for clinicians to apply theoretical models and work with people struggling with a variety of issues. Coursework and/or sessions in communications, journalism or public affairs are typically not offered in clinical psychology or social work graduate programs.  Clinicians learn how to work with the media more so once they completed their graduate program.

Through stories and resources, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is “dedicated to informed, effective and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy,” specifically sharing tools for journalists, educators, researchers/scholars and clinicians.  One of the center’s publications is called “Child Clinicians & the Media,” which provides tips on issues of privacy, helping journalists write a story, developing press kits, how to ask and answer questions, and raising public awareness. Although the publication focuses on child clinicians, the suggestions are practical and transferrable to the field of sexual violence on college campus.

If you have other resources that colleagues combating sexual violence on campus can benefit from, please contact CALCASA with your suggestions so we can share them via the listserv and/or website.

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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