Following our appearance at the student day we headed to the Regatta Hotel in Toowng for a Walkley forum with a focus on Journalists covering traumatic situations.
While common sense tells us most people who witness horrific events are bound to be effected, apparently this attitude has been seen as a weakness in many news rooms untill quite recently.
Channel Ten´s Cathy Border moderated the event at which a number of Journalists in various fields discussed their experiences in disaster and trauma situations.
Courier Mail photographer Rob Maccoll opened proceedings with a slide show of powerful and sobering images from time spent in, East Timor, Iraq, Bali and Thailand after the Asian tsunami.
Philip Williams from the ABC gave an emotional account of his time covering the Beslan school seige in Russia. Visibly still effected by the experience Mr Williams said the confessional nature of the forum was like being: “at an alcoholics anonymous meeting.”
There was a much emphasis placed on the fact that even today it´s somewhat unusual for journalists to candidly discuss events they had covered.
With this in mind it appeared speaking at the forum was quite cathartic for the ABC´s Lisa Millar and Mr Williams in particular.
As a student it was daunting but reassuring to know that attitudes to trauma seem to be on the up around the industry.