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In the third public panel at the Dart-sponsored workshop "Covering Violence: Trauma and Journalism in Latin America," clinical psychologists and trauma experts Elana Newman, Jack Saul and Marta Chinchilla reviewed proven techniques for remaining resilient in the face of trauma. The workshop was held at the Columbia Journalism School in New York City on Oct. 13 and 14, 2009.
Download or listen (in English) to Dart Center Research Director Elana Newman of the University of Tulsa and Jack Saul, director of the International Trauma Studies Program at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health:
Dart Center Research Director Elana Newman opened her discussion of trauma support for journalists by emphasizing the importance of destigmatizing traumatic reactions: “Resilience is the rule and not the exception.” With that, she turned to personal skills, professional support and external factors proven, both by academic research and by her own clinical work with journalists, to promote resilience. Effective personal skills and professional support included:
Newman also identified programs and other external factors that journalists need:
International Trauma Studies Program director Jack Saul, drawing on his own experience as a family counselor, emphasized the importance of looking at trauma as a communal, not just an individual, phenomenon. He reinforced four themes for community resilience:
Download or listen (in Spanish) to psychologist Marta Chinchilla:
Psychologist Marta Chinchilla Murillo of Bogotá brought the discussion to the concrete reality of continual violence in her home country of Colombia. She enumerated risks for journalists and effective strategies for resilience as occurring at three levels. Risks at the personal level included:
Risks at the workplace included:
And risks at the community level included:
Strategies for personal resilience included:
Workplace strategies included:
And finally, communtiy strategies included:
A 40-page guide to help journalists, photojournalists and editors report on violence while protecting both victims and themselves.
This documentary, available online and on DVD, features a wide range of Australian journalists their recounting experiences covering traumatic stories.
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The Dart Center is a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.