War in the 21st century is changing, and so is war reporting. Reporting on war and civil conflict anywhere in the world today means an awareness of the psychic as well as physical toll on soldiers and civilians; sophisticated understanding of human rights; and training in physical safety and emotional resilience. It means, as well, an honest assessment of the impact on journalists of covering war.
As hundreds of thousands prepare for this Saturday's 100 year anniversary of Anzac Day, journalists must ensure they are promoting healing, not reopening old wounds.
In 2011, at the age of 17, Anastasia Vlasova covered protests in Kiev for the first time. Three years later when the first wave of major violence erupted in Ukraine, she was studying journalism in her first semester of graduate school. “I wanted to shake people's shoulders and say, wake up! There's a war going on in our country.” A Q&A with Alan Chin.
This provocative three-part series examines the concept of moral injury, a phenomenon where combat or operational experiences transgress deeply held moral and ethical beliefs that undergird a service member’s humanity; often seen as damage to the soul. Judges praised the series for “gracefully and confidently marrying the humanity and understanding of its survivors with a gritty, powerful investigation that breaks new ground.” Originally published in the Huffington Post in March 2014.
Psychologist Anthony Feinstein examines a confluence of factors that can undermine the emotional well-being of journalists, including the emergence of new threats in Syria, the relentless nature of the conflict and those predominantly tasked with covering it. This piece was originally published in The Globe and Mail.
Christoph Bangert and Alan Chin have photographed gruesome scenes around the world and argued with editors about why they are important for the public to see. Earlier this year, Bangert published a new book, “War Porn,” in which he confronts the arguments and ethics over violent imagery in new ways. In a Dart Center exclusive, the two photographers sat down to discuss their work, its origins and impact.
National Center for PTSD
The Iraq War Clinician Guide was developed by members of the National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense. It was developed specifically for clinicians and addresses the unique needs of veterans of the Iraq war.
A story about combat-related psychological injury by M.L. Lyke of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. See the subheading, "GETTING HELP," near the bottom of the story, for an example of a sidebar with contact information for veterans' resources.
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.