Journalists to tackle trauma, earthquake coverage

OTTAWA, May 6 /CNW/ - Canadian journalists, from freelancer Amanda Lindhout to reporters dispatched to Haiti after the earthquake, are facing dangerous and damaging assignments more and more often.

That's why the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma and the Canadian Association of Journalists are teaming up this month to talk about more safety training, improved trauma support and better ways to cover disasters. The Forum is producing two sessions at the CAJ's annual conference in Montreal, May 28-30:

    
    Covering Haiti and the Impact of Tragedy
    ----------------------------------------
    With...
    Sue Montgomery, Montreal Gazette
    Paul Hunter, CBC News Washington
    François Bugingo, Reporters Without Borders Canada
    Dr. Anthony Feinstein, professor of psychiatry at the University of
     Toronto.

    In Harm's Way: Keeping Journalists Safe on Dangerous Assignments
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    With....
    Lorne Motley, editor-in-chief, Calgary Herald
    Rodney Pinder, director of the UK-based International News Safety
     Institute
    Dr. Anthony Feinstein, professor of psychiatry at the University of
     Toronto.
    

"The physical and emotional wellbeing of journalists at home and abroad has been receiving growing attention in the past few years," said Forum president Cliff Lonsdale. "We need to ensure progress isn't diminished as media organizations tighten their belts. We must work together to find ways to avoid downloading risks onto journalists who may be least prepared to carry the load."

CAJ President Mary Agnes Welch said it's time everyone in the industry thinks more seriously about ways to keep reporters healthy, whether they're covering a foreign war or a terrible car accident.

"These are the reporters who put their lives and their mental health at risk to tell us what's happening in our world and in our neighbourhoods," said Welch. "We need to make sure journalists are as safe as possible while on assignment and afterward."

For more information and to register for the CAJ conference visit: www.caj.ca

To find out more about the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, visit: http://journalismforum.fims.uwo.ca

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: For further information: CAJ: Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president, (w) (204) 783-9417 or (cell) (204) 470-8862; Forum: Jane Hawkes, executive producer: journalismforum@rogers.com, (w) (519) 473-6434 or (cell) (519) 852-4946


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