Resources for Featured Articles, Disaster
The word "indescribable" is one of those clichés often used by people too lazy to really describe what they're seeing. But for the first time in my professional career, I found a place where indescribable was actually the most accurate description.
The first 24 hours after a traumatic news event may present a journalist with considerable challenges and opportunities, both professionally and personally. The usual physical and psychological demands of trying to gather facts and write a story under deadline are greatly magnified when trauma is involved, especially when a large number of victims are dead or seriously injured (although even a single victim can be difficult to cover).
Nearly every journalist in the course of their career will interview people who have experienced significant trauma. But how many receive any training for the task? This article describes how role-playing traumatic incidents might give student journalists valuable insight and hone crucial interviewing skills.
Reflection and advice from six international reporters who reported on the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami (Yulia Supadmo, Indonesia; Mehul Srivastava, USA; Shahanaaz Habib, Malaysia; Shahidul Alam, Bangladesh; Pia Sarkar, USA; Mona Khanna, USA)