Improving crisis reporting and protecting journalists have never been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic. As we carry out the vital mission of informing citizens and holding leaders accountable, journalists frequently bear witness to human suffering, whether covering mass disasters or individual atrocities. Journalists are also sometimes the direct targets of violence and harassment which can affect health and well-being.
While research suggests that at least 80% of journalists have been exposed to a traumatic event while carrying out their work, few have been trained to protect themselves of such exposure and its aftermath.
AAJA-Asia will hold on July 11 – in partnership with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma – an online training session that will explore the impact of trauma on journalists and newsrooms. It will equip reporters with simple approaches to support peers and colleagues and management tactics for dealing with trauma exposure.
The training will cover:
- How to monitor how staff are holding up; building resilience in the face of undertaking very difficult stories
- Monitoring colleagues and staff when covering traumatic events
- Mitigating the impact of traumatic events
- Newsroom planning and protocols before, during and after traumatic events.
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Cait McMahon OAM, PhD is a registered psychologist and the founding managing director of Dart Centre Asia Pacific since 2003. Dart Asia Pacific has its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and holds trainings and other programs throughout the Asia Pacific region. McMahon has been interested in the nexus of journalism and trauma since working as staff counsellor at The Age newspaper in Melbourne in the mid 1980’s and 90’s. This interest pushed her to pursue postgraduate research on trauma exposed journalists in 1993 with subsequent publications. Her PhD focused on Australian trauma reporting journalists, post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth. Cait has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), one of Australia’s highest civil accolades, for her work with journalists and trauma.
Established in 1999, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma provides resources, training and thought leadership on covering violence, tragedy and crisis. The Dart Center is recognized as a world leader in evidence-based trauma-awareness and support programs for journalists, as well as in advancing innovative, ethical reporting on survivors of traumatic events.