When specific photographs become symbolic of a particular event, triggering the public's memory (and related feelings and emotions) about that period in time, we can refer to them as enduring historical icons.
Remember: Everyone in your newsroom may be affected differently. Some may be affected immediately while others will take days, weeks, months or even years to see the effect. The journalists who either claim or seem to be the most unfazed by the event may, in fact, be affected the most. Others may have developed mechanisms to help them deal with tragedy, and they may have minimal effects.
Many journalists who cover "hard news" will come into contact with people who have experienced a traumatic event. At the scene of a fatal car collision, for example, or a neighborhood shooting, or an apartment fire, there are likely to be people present who are suffering from traumatic stress. These same people may also be important sources of news for their community — people who, despite their pain, can help tell the story of a tragedy as it is unfolding.
Know your limits. If you've been given a troublesome assignment that you feel you cannot perform, politely express your concerns to your supervisor. Tell the supervisor that you may not be the best person for the assignment. Explain why.
Early live reports of terrorist attacks are sometimes confusing and misleading. Yet there are also extraordinary examples of media excellence, with journalists risking their lives to inform the nation about an unfolding crisis.