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2015-01_dc

16 D+C Vol.42.2015:1 nalists in Haiti. “At first, you function as if on auto- pilot, you report night and day, focussing only on your work,” he says, “but later, everything comes back to haunt you.” Lasting mental harm In 1994, Bruce Shapiro, then an investigative jour- nalist and civil-society activist in New York, was shot by a person running amok. Shapiro survived the attack, and then experienced colleagues follow- ing him all the way to the hospital bed, demanding an interview. His view of journalism changed radi- cally. In cooperation with Frank Ochberg, a psychia- trist, and with financial support by the wealthy Dart family, he founded the Dart Center for Trauma and Journalism in 1999. It has since become part of Co- lumbia University in New York. To date, this small centre is the only entity worldwide that trains journalists in reporting trage- dies and violence in a sensitive and professional manner. The Dart Center opposes the myth of jour- nalists always being tough, hard-boiled reporter who deal with all wars and crises of the world on their own. A study by Anthony Feinstein, a Canadian psy- chiatrist, showed in 2004 that the risk of lasting mental harm is especially high for war reporters. His survey of 140 international journalists revealed that 28 % suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point of their carrier. In a more re- cent study in 2012, Feinstein assessed the situation of journalists who work in a country like Mexico in a context of violence and constant danger. Of 104 surveyed journalists who covered gang violence and illegal drug trafficking, 25 % developed PTSD APPhoto/picture-alliance Journalists protesting against the murder of colleagues in Mexico City.

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