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WRITING BLOGS

Trauma Journalism

The BBC imposes strict rules to protect its staff and stringers, particularly in high-risk work (e.g., deployments to hostile environments, covert filming of dangerous groups, and covering events such as terrorist incidents, natural disasters and pandemic diseases). Correspondents and staff may decline such dangerous assignments without penalty or “any other detrimental consequence.” An extensive risk assessment procedure is followed before crews are selected to go in harm's way. Read More 
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Trauma Journalism

Professors Yung Soo Kim of the University of Kentucky and James D. Kelly of Indiana University researched whether people believed photojournalists were ethical if they acted as dispassionate (professional) observers rather than “Good Samaritans” when confronted with life and death issues. Respondents supported moral relativism, believing photojournalists’ actions depended on situational factors. Photojournalist James Nachtwey’s states: “It is something I have to reckon with every day because I know that if I ever allow genuine compassion to be overtaken by personal ambition, I will have sold my soul.” Read More 
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Trauma Journalism

Cliff Lonsdale, a lecturer at the University of Western Ontario, and president of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, is a former chief news editor and production head for CBC Television and CBC News. Since 1993, he has been an independent documentary filmmaker. Lonsdale says “climate change” is needed in newsrooms and journalism classrooms re: the impact of crisis coverage where “emotional trauma is an integral part of the newsgathering process.” Read More 
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Trauma Journalism

University of Missouri Professor Jim MacMillan says the trauma journalism media reform movement has three key elements: (1) the psychological challenges facing journalists, (2) the obligations to victims and survivors of traumatic events, and (3) the media’s responsibility concerning the potential effects reporting on tragedy and trauma may have on communities of news consumers.

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Trauma Journalism

On Thursday, Nov. 17, I'll be speaking at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University on my new book, TRAUMA JOURNALISM: ON DEADLINE IN HARM'S WAY. The event is being sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Program (Dr. Dennis Kinsey, director). Syracuse journalism professor Terry Anderson (who wrote the foreword of my book) will also be participating. Read More 
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Trauma Journalism

The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma is co-sponsoring a three-day continuing-education program at Columbia Journalism School (NY) to prepare freelancers to cover conflict, disaster and civil unrest. The course, November 11 to 13, covers how to avoid unnecessary peril, with careful preparations before, during and after assignments. Topics include risk assessment and physical safety, computer security, first aid, sexual assault prevention and managing trauma and stress. Contact: www.dartcenter.org Read More 
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Trauma Journalism

Professors Yvonne Latty of NYU and Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante of the University of Arizona have developed a joint educational program, “Beyond the Border.” According to Bustamante, the immersive reporting experience for undergraduate and graduate students “is a cross-cultural and international project” focusing on the Arizona-Sonora region and New York City and “issues such as immigration, violence (e.g., ethnic and racial conflict) and environmental degradation.” Both professors spent several years as journalists covering crime and crisis stories before entering academia. Read More 
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Trauma Journalism

The debate on issues such as emotional engagement in reporting, critical incident training and trauma counseling for journalists has intensified with coverage of catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina and the South Asian tsunami in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. These and other tragedies have brought heightened attention to controversial topics rarely discussed openly in newsrooms. Advocates claim that frank dialogue about trauma-related issues in journalism will enhance the profession. Read More 
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