Click here to download a copy of my comprehensive Dart Centre guide to journalism and trauma – both the reporting of, and the personal experience of.
So, would you send someone who knows nothing about cycling to cover the Tour de France?
Now consider this. If trauma – as in, extreme human distress – makes up something like two thirds of our daily news agenda (check today’s newspaper if you disagree), wouldn’t it be a good idea for journalists to know a little bit about emotions and how human beings – themselves included – really function when their world is breaking down around them?
And if you’re a journalist yourself, how much training did you ever have in understanding and reporting emotions and trauma?
If you’re like most of us, almost certainly none.
Journalists need training and briefing in trauma awareness early in their education and career – as students now experience at Bournemouth University Media School, for example, working in this page’s picture with professional actors.
Being emotionally aware in journalism isn’t about packing everyone off to counselling.
What it’s about is creating and holding a space where journalists can give themselves and each other permission to be human beings as well as reporters.
It makes for better journalism, and for better balanced journalists. Good for the practitioner. Good for business and the bottom line. Good for audiences and readers. Possibly, even, good for the planet.
Mark Brayne is a visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University Media School, and give an annual lecture on trauma at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism.
Working especially with the US-based Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, Braynework has taken journalism-and-trauma training and presentations around the world, from Los Angeles to Kazakhstan, and to organisations as varied as the Washington Post, the BBC of course, the Palestinian Journalists’ Federation and Al Jazeera.
Do get in touch if you would like to know more.
“The best training I’ve ever had – we should have had this in the newsroom decades ago.”
“I can’t thank you enough – your support has been literally life-saving.”
“We’ve worked together for more than 10 years and had never before heard each other’s experiences. It’s made such a difference.”