Ten years after the attacks of September 11, reporting on combat veterans remains a special challenge. Earlier this year the Dart Center, with support from the Thomas Scattergood Foundation for Behavioral Health, sponsored a two-day workshop on covering veterans' issues for local journalists and regional news organizations in the greater Philadelphia area. Now available online: tipsheets and audio of experts and journalists on veterans' issues, navigating the VA and innovative approaches to covering vets at the local and regional level.
Resources for Blog Posts, Veterans
There are many forces that suppress stories of trauma, from the active denial of perpetrators to the passive denial of those who prefer to look away. But when human tragedy is embedded in complex institutions — high school, higher ed, the military — the challenges of reporting and storytelling multiply.
The Thomas Scattergood Foundation for Behavioral Health awarded the Dart Center with a grant to conduct workshops in the Philadelphia area to improve coverage of mental health issues.
Aaron Glantz, a former war correspondent, writes about the death of Dwight Radcliff, an Air Force veteran who overcame homelessness to become president of the United States Veterans Initiative.
Conventional wisdom about the psychological impact of war on soldiers turns out to be not very wise at all. While public awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder has increased dramatically in recent years, in the minds of many it represents everything bad that combat can do to the mind and spirit. And the very term "disorder" implies a permanent condition from which there is little hope for recovery.
A soldier can leave the battlefield, but coming home doesn't mean the war is over. Men and women in the military are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan only to face a new set of struggles, as they carry physical and psychological wounds into a society that doesn't fully understand their experience or their sacrifice. To help them through the challenges of reintegration, the public needs to hear their stories, told with effective, ethical and sensitive reporting.
The deadliest soldier-on-soldier incident among U.S. servicemembers since the beginning of the Iraq war occurred yesterday. Sgt. John M. Russell has been charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault after opening fire upon staff at a combat stress clinic at Camp Liberty, Iraq.
Six journalism grad students working with ABC’s 20/20 spent the summer investigating the stories of soldiers who abuse drugs. In their TV report, soldiers speak to the students of going into war drug-free, but turning to cocaine, amphetamines, and prescription drugs to deal with their traumatic experiences.
Last week, Alysa Landry at the Daily Times in Farmington, New Mexico penned a moving three-part series on veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Part one, Combat that Never Ends, tells the stories of Vietnam veterans who have wrestled with PTSD for decades, but only recently been diagnosed or treated.