Responsible reporting guidelines for media

Responsible reporting guidelines for media

News coverage of conflict zones can be distressing for anyone, but particularly those who have served or been affected by conflict.

Scenes, sounds and graphic descriptions can be triggering to anyone who has experienced being in a war zone. The sights and sounds can cause them to recall difficult events and relive traumatic experiences.

During the events in Afghanistan in 2021, we heard from many Veterans and family members who were feeling increasingly distressed as a result of the news coverage.

As we are now surrounded by news of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Help for Heroes is once again calling on the media to report sensitively when covering stories of conflict and signpost to support services for those who are struggling.

Media outlets and journalists should

Be mindful when interviewing veterans and family members

  • Let them know your line of questioning in advance

  • Find out if any areas are ‘off-limits’

  • Do not call into question the value of their service or sacrifice

  • Let them know when and where the interview will appear

  • Signpost to support services following all interviews

Include a warning before portraying graphic content that may be distressing to viewers.

Signpost to services that can support veterans, service personnel and families in need

For media enquiries, please contact pressoffice@helpforheroes.org.uk