The Journalism of Trauma

So, I didn’t write for many months after I created this blog. I went off to Iraq and when I returned, I could not navigate through some technical difficulties, and I abandoned this.
But I just returned from an invigorating week in Chicago — yes, the windy city is still celebrating the historical electoral victory of one of its own, but that’s not what I mean.
I just attended a week-long fellowship sponsored by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. I sat with eight other journalists chosen as 2008 Ochberg fellows and learned that I was hardly alone. I had felt somewhat isolated from society after my returns from Iraq and I discovered that THAT was perfectly normal.
We heard from specialists in the field working with depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other problems that plague victims of violence.
Not many Americans realize how traumatic events can affect the journalists who cover them. Everyone is always getting down on the media, but how else would everyone get news if the media decided to skip the awful fires, shootouts, murders, terrorist attacks and wars?
Think about it.
Would you be willing, if you had a choice, to leave the comforts of your home to throw yourself in harm’s way? Very few of us do that for a living. Firefighters, paramedics, police officers and members of the military are a special breed. I think journalists are too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: