Veteran journalist Frank Smyth is founder and executive director of Global Journalist Security (GJS), a new company providing news organizations with comprehensive security consulting services. The firm offers integrated training to reporters and correspondents, citizen journalists and human rights defenders, among other clients. "We also train security forces in developed nations as well as in emerging democracies, aspiring to meet international press freedom and human rights standards," according to the GJS website: www.journalistsecurity.net/ Read More
January 30, 2012
From Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss' Jan. 29, 2012, review ("War journalists adjust to homefront in Steppenwolf’s new play") of "Time Stands Still" by Donald Margulies: "In recent years, as record numbers of war correspondents have died or suffered grave injuries, much also has been debated about their impact. Does media presence illuminate the situation or too often serve as a catalyst for chaos?" http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weiss/10254454-452/when-war-journalists-adjust-to-homefront.html Read More
January 26, 2012
Those journalists who have lost their lives in pursuit of a story, a photograph or video footage illustrate that change is often born of tragedy. As with the civil rights movement in the U.S. and social justice efforts globally, sacrifice precedes progress. Such was the case at the turn of the millennium when major news organizations adopted reforms and implemented new safety measures just months after the May 24, 2000, killings of two heralded trauma journalists: Kurt Schork and Miguel Gil Moreno in Sierra Leone. Read More
January 24, 2012
My op-ed "When War Journalists Come Home" was recently re-posted and re-translated on a Vietnamese press digest website with some very interesting word changes (e.g., mishap for trauma, basin for depression, romantic for emotional): http://vnmade.com/?p=13394
January 22, 2012
My first boss, William (Bill) Silverman, was a brilliant crisis manager and consultant. But he began his career as journalist, serving in the Korean War and later in Spain for United Press International (UPI). He was a longtime police beat reporter in Cleveland, covering violent crimes and tragedies. Recently, we reconnected, and he shared his reflections and convictions about how media bias has diminished the quality and credibility of journalism. He also discussed the impact of trauma in his life as a reporter, still having flashbacks and nightmares some 50 years later. While admitting that intrusive, insensitive questions like "How do you feel?" should not be asked of victims (sources), he challenged editors and news directors not to query their reporters and correspondents in the same manner when the subject is trauma. Rule of thumb: Think before your ask about someone's emotional state. Read More
January 18, 2012
Terry Anderson: "It is only in the last twenty years or so that the trauma community began looking at the price the journalists themselves pay in their work. Like firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical techs, journalists are hard interviews—they don’t like to talk about themselves, at least not on that subject. Mark Masse’s work is part of a small but growing lexicon. I hope it will help to counter the unfortunately common view of news people as uncaring, careless voyeurs exploiting others’ pain for shallow reasons. We have to believe in what we do, or we couldn’t do it." Read More
January 17, 2012
Modifying existing university journalism curricula to include trauma-related coursework can be problematic. Challenges include detailed course-hour requirements facing accredited academic programs. Such realities explain why there are only a few designated trauma classes in journalism programs in the U.S. and other countries. Options include offering special electives and adding instruction in existing intro and advanced reporting classes. Read More
January 16, 2012
Australian freelancer Antony Loewenstein has written about the deadly risks of being a trauma journalist, given the intensive war, conflict and crime coverage in hotspots like Syria, Afghanistan, Russia and Mexico.
January 11, 2012
My thanks to playwright Donald Margulies ("Time Stands Still") for his interest in my book TRAUMA JOURNALISM: ON DEADLINE IN HARM'S WAY. His play explores the emotional, romantic relationship between two photojournalists returning from the Iraq War with physical and psychological injuries.
January 10, 2012
"Time Stands Still," a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies, explores the emotional, romantic relationship between two photojournalists returning from the Iraq War with physical and psychological injuries.