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The coverage of violence is one of the most problematic features of journalistic practice -the area most frequently criticized by the public as well as those on the receiving end of that coverage. Particularly in communities hit by such disasters as the Columbine High School shooting and the Oklahoma City bombing, there is little tolerance for insensitive...
The coverage of violence is one of the most problematic features of journalistic practice -the area most frequently criticized by the public as well as those on the receiving end of that coverage. Particularly in communities hit by such disasters as the Columbine High School shooting and the Oklahoma City bombing, there is little tolerance for insensitive "reporting as usual." Amid such escalating criticism of the medias coverage of violence, Covering Violence gives journalists a better understanding of what is happening "on the scene" of a violent event. Discussing such topics as rape and the ethics of interviewing children, and using the Oklahoma City bombing as a case study, the book relates journalistic practices to the rapidly expanding body of literature on trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and secondary traumatic stress, and surveys current medical and political debates concerning victims rights. Covering Violence is the first comprehensive guide for students and working journalists on how to deal with victims and their families with sensitivity and respect, including where the reporter can go safely and legally, how to obtain the most useful information, and how to understand and respect the needs and actions of emergency workers and public-safety agencies. The book also presents innovative ways of interviewing and photographing victims and also helps journalists deal with the effects in their own lives of frequent exposure to trauma. Profiles of journalists whose work exemplifies responsible and sensitive coverage of tragic events, including Rick Bragg, Scott North, Jeff Gradney, Lynn Dobson, and Debra McKinney, demonstrate that compassionate reporting need not preclude "getting the story."
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