Resources for 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.
In recent years, journalists have become more aware of the emotional aspects of the stories they cover, particularly in the aftermath of tragedy. Nowadays, says David Loyn, the BBC's developing world correspondent, "We get alongside people; we have sympathy with them; we empathise with them." A Frontline Club discussion.
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).