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Trauma Journalism

Judith Matloff teaches a graduate "Covering Conflict" course at Columbia University. She is frank when advising her students about the risks of trauma journalism: "Know your limits and motivations. Understand that it is normal to have extreme reactions to extreme events. Anticipate that you may feel very distressed; know the symptoms and get help if they appear. That was the biggest problem with my generation. We didn’t have a word for 'trauma.' No one talked about 'shellshock,' or whatever it was called in those days. You went forth with a bottle of scotch and pretended to be really tough and macho and then had terrible nightmares that resonated during the day. Friends became alcoholics, got into car crashes, split with their wives. Two colleagues committed suicide. That wouldn’t have happened if we understood trauma." Read More 
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