GIJC Panel: Protecting Your Health While Covering Human Tragedy

October 8, 2015
Radisson Blu Lillehammer Hotel
Turisthotelveien 6
2609 Lillehammer, Norway

It's not just war reporters who need to know about self-care on traumatic assignments. Investigative reporters who work intensively on such topics as migration, human trafficking, and sexual violence are also at risk of finding themselves in trauma trouble. Interviewing victims and witnesses, reviewing records of tragedy, viewing photos and video, and assembling the stories of traumatic events all can have a profound emotional impact. And then there is always some risk of becoming a direct target of harassment, detention or physical violence.

Speakers Include:

Cait McMahon has been Managing Director of the Dart Centre Asia Pacific since 2004. McMahon is a psychologist, and began working with the media in 1987. Cait is responsible for creating and facilitating training programmes across the Asia Pacific region to promote ethical and thorough reporting of violence and disaster, as well as psychological safety and resilience for media professionals. McMahon is the only Australian psychologist to be published on this topic and she has a specific interest in posttraumatic growth as it relates to trauma exposed journalists. Cait has presented in close to 20 countries internationally on trauma as it relates to journalism over the last 10 years.

Juliana Rhufus began reporting and investigating for the BBC in 1997. The following years she produced investigations for the BBC and Channel 4 from as diverse places as Somalia, Yemen and Haiti, before joining AlJazeera in 2006 as a chief reporter on the People and Power-program. She is today a senior presenter at the network.


Gavin Rees is the director of Dart Centre Europe. The Dart Centre is a project of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York and is dedicated to promoting ethical and innovative approaches to the coverage of trauma and violence. Gavin is responsible for implementing the Centre’s work across Europe, and runs workshops and discussion groups on trauma awareness, resilience and interviewing skills for working journalists and journalism students in a range of countries around the world. 

Rees has also produced business and political news for US, British and Japanese news channels, and has worked on drama and documentary films for the BBC, Channel 4 and independent film companies. He is a visiting fellow in the Media School at Bournemouth University, and is a board member of both the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies and the UK Psychological Trauma Society.

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