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Trauma Journalism

How do journalists cope after covering war, tragedy and trauma? Former Washington Post reporter Jackie Spinner’s 2006 memoir, “Tell Them I Didn’t Cry: A Young Journalist’s Story of Joy, Loss, and Survival in Iraq,” describes her nine months (’04-’05) as a war correspondent, having no prior experience in a conflict zone. Spinner returned to the U.S. with post-war trauma: “I was going crazy, driven mad by the unknown of the future and the known dangers I had escaped in Iraq. . . . I did not want to talk about this with my colleagues who had been in Iraq because I feared their judgment of me as weak . . . .” Spinner was haunted by nightmares, “angry at everything,” and guilty for the Iraqi staff she had left behind with no promises for the future. She shunned her friends in favor of family “because they asked no questions and surrounded me in unconditional love.” Read More 
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