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Journalists Impacted by Trauma - That's News. Why Should We Care?

This is the public opening lecture for the 'News Reporting and Emotions: 1100‒2017’ 2017 Collaboratory of the Change Program of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Europe 1100‒1800.

Presenter: Dr Cait McMahon OAM
4 September 2017 (public opening lecture)
Time: 6pm
Venue: Lower Napier Building, LG28, The University of Adelaide
Convenors: Amy Milka, Abaigéal Warfield 
Registration: Online here. Free, but RSVP is required.
Public Lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

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Dr McMahon OAM will present the current psychological research on journalists exposed to traumatic events, and the emotional repercussions of such work. This research will be accompanied by examples of how media professionals have managed their emotions at the time of potentially traumatic exposure and afterwards. McMahon will discuss self-care
strategies that she teaches journalists to maintain resilience in such circumstances. The presentation will also include examples of journalists’ self-censorship because of fear elicited through trauma reporting; the concept of moral injury as it relates to news gathering, and the importance of ethical reporting on people affected by trauma.

Cait McMahon is the founding Managing Director of the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma - Asia Pacific (www.dartcentre.org/asia-pacific) and established the Centre in 2003. McMahon has been working with the media since 1988 when she was at The Age newspaper in an internal counselling and support role. As a ‘trauma and journalism’ expert and psychologist, Cait is responsible for creating and facilitating training programs across the Asia Pacific region to promote ethical and thorough reporting of violence, disaster and tragedy in society, focusing specifically on psychological safety and resilience for media professionals. In 2016 she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her work with journalists experiencing trauma exposure.

Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma – Asia Pacific

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma is a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  The Centre is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. Whether the topic is street crime, family violence, natural disaster, war or human rights, effective news reporting on traumatic events demands knowledge, skill and support. The Dart Centre provides journalists around the world with the resources necessary to meet this challenge, drawing on a global, interdisciplinary network of news professionals, mental health experts, educators and researchers.

Dart Centre Asia Pacific (DCAP) is the regional hub of the Dart Centre US, and is run out of its offices in Melbourne, Australia.  DCAP educates journalists and news organisations in the region about the relationship between trauma and journalism. DCAP works from a culturally appropriate perspective, by working alongside local knowledge experts, and forming in-country partnerships and collaborations.


Image ©Andy Castillo. The Greenfield Recorder, USA.