Disasters: Media

In the past few years we have seen wide scale disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, typhoons, floods and bushfires. These have resulted in many deaths and have affected the lives many in Australia, as well as many of our global neighbours.

Such large-scale tragic events can also indirectly affect children and youth. These events are widely reported on the television and in the print media. They can affect our sense of safety and feelings of vulnerability and make us wonder what we can do to help others in need. This is especially the case with children, even young children whom we might think don’t understand the images on the news can be affected. This is not always widely understood.

The resources on this page provide advice on children’s viewing of media coverage of disasters and how mental health professionals can address the issues that may arise from this.

Resources for practitioners

Disasters, the media and your child

Watching constant media coverage of disasters is not helpful for children and young people. 

Other resources

Children and media coverage of trauma

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Columbia University
An article outlining some of the potential effects of media coverage of mass trauma reported in the media.

Disasters: Why and how mental health professionals and the media should work together

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
This article discusses the benefits of mental health professionals being involved in the messages sent out by media in relation to trauma and disasters.