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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Too much front line for reporters?

A very interesting article was written in the Christian Science Monitor on the impact war and violence has on journalists who report them, and how media organizations can help them cope with the issue. "Awareness of the impact of violence on journalists has been growing in fits and starts for several decades, reports Randy Dotinga. "The recent practice of embedding journalists with US troops in Iraq has also heightened awareness, as these reporters have stayed close to combat and been regular witnesses to disturbing scenes. Some media organizations offer counseling to journalists after they cover violence or warfare; at The Christian Science Monitor, employees can seek assistance through their health insurance coverage. Across the news industry, however, it's almost always up to individual journalists to decide whether to seek help. Many reporters don't bother.

Some journalists are calling for mandatory counseling - something The Daily Oklahoman considered but ultimately rejected after the bombing there. Newsweek's chief of correspondents Markus Mabry isn't sure about the wisdom of requiring counseling, but he makes a point of encouraging returning correspondents to meet counselors. "I've recommended to all my people in Iraq and Afghanistan to go see a professional when you come out, and we'll pay for it," Mr. Mabry says. "But most people as far as I know haven't taken advantage of this. They say it's no big deal, I don't have time. Once they've been through this stuff, they want to leave it behind. That, is a mistake. "I don't think they're dealing with it. And I think we have a problem."

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Posted by Valérie Gazzano on December 1, 2004 at 10:48 AM in m. Improving editorial quality | Permalink


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