Asia Pacific Media Educator


I feel I have to give some humanity to those terrible people, journalists, who go out and report on all the awful events that happen around us. Journalists have often been depicted as people who have little empathy or emotions when dealing with the tragedies they report about. Little has changed in news content over the years, but what has to change is the way journalists are treated by their employers when they report on trauma. My concern about this topic has been long term and my pursuing this area of post-graduate study reflects this. In 1986 the Australian Journalists Association asked me to write an article about trauma and how it affects journalists. “A reporter’s lament: Is anyone there?” featured in the Australian Journalists’ Association in-house journal, provoking a large response from readers. I am surprised that it is still so relevant. I wonder whether much has changed since then. At the time I was a police reporter and had been so for many years, and my complaint was that nothing was done for journalists who may have felt the effects of reporting trauma.