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Between a rock and a hard place: the challenges of reporting about trauma and the value of reflective practice for journalists

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Between a rock and a hard place: the challenges of reporting about trauma and the value of reflective practice for journalists

Kay, Linda and Reilly, Rosemary C. and Amend, Elyse and Kyle, Terry (2010) Between a rock and a hard place: the challenges of reporting about trauma and the value of reflective practice for journalists. Journalism Studies, 12 . ISSN 1461-670X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1080/1461670X.2010.506054

Abstract

Journalists are caretakers of the public interest. But when a community experiences a devastating trauma, lines of responsibility are less clear-cut. Are journalists responsible to the news consumer or the community experiencing the trauma? Which notion of public interest assumes precedence? How does journalistic responsibility translate into action when residents experience pain, but editors clamor for on-the-spot coverage? Creating spaces for reflective practice can assist journalists in considering principled ways of covering trauma. This paper examines the reactions and reflections of seven journalists who responded to research exploring the impact of media coverage on a rural community where a high-profile murder had occurred. These journalists, using reflective practice, pondered the challenges of covering trauma, the evolution of journalistic responsibility and the implications for journalism educators teaching students who will inevitably cover traumas when they are working in the field.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Applied Human Sciences
Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Journalism
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Kay, Linda and Reilly, Rosemary C. and Amend, Elyse and Kyle, Terry
Journal or Publication:Journalism Studies
Date:22 September 2010
Funders:
  • This research was supported through a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Ottawa, Canada.
Keywords:ethics, journalism education, journalistic responsibility, media coverage, reflective practice, trauma
ID Code:6932
Deposited By:ROSEMARY REILLY
Deposited On:26 Nov 2010 12:16
Last Modified:02 Nov 2012 15:56
Additional Information:Parts of this paper were presented at the International Conference of Journalism Research in the Public Interest on November 21, 2009 in Zurich.
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