Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Journalists

Went downtown tonight, the usual....bought a magazine, got a latté and started reading. I bought a magazine I never bought before: The Ryerson Review of Journalism. This is a great mag! On the cover one of my favourite journalists, Wendy Mesley. Inside a very interesting article about journalists and PTSD. I have to admit I never thought about that, I guess we are used to associate PTSD to soldiers, Romeo Dallaire and least I was.

I guess we forget about those courageous journalists, risking their lives for the sake of telling the truth or because some of them are actually adrenaline junkies. Nevertheless, PTSD is also afflicting journalists and I there are many resources devoted to them (here is ONE and ANOTHER). furthermore, covering disasters and mass killings (think Virginia Tech for instance) can have a huge impact on the journalists trying to get the story out. Just imagine watching someone drowning, a man caught in a fire or a falling off a bridge. Even though watching the news at 9 seems mundane because we are getting more and more immune to horror because of the distance created by the TV, we should not forget that somebody had to see and live the horror...without it. Just imagine how helpless and guilty you would feel by just watching and reporting the horror.

In case you think you are one of these adrenaline junkies, you can test yourself using the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale...I did not take the test...just looking at the questions I know I am definitely not the type...although.....

The article on PTSD and journalists can be found HERE

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