By Una Murphy

Can the reporting of trauma in the media be improved? This question will be explored at two workshops in Derry and Belfast led by American academic Professor Steve Youngblood.

Victims and social justice campaigner and VIEW magazine contributor Paul Gallagher, pictured above, who is a member of the WAVE Trauma Centre Injured Group will be among the speakers.

Prof. Jake Lynch, visiting Professor at Coventry University and chair of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, will also speak at the workshops. He was a news anchor for BBC World Television News and a political correspondent for Sky News.

Professor Youngblood, the Director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University, Missouri and Professor Lynch are the authors of several books on Peace Journalism.

Professor Lynch said that he was looking forward to attending the events in Northern Ireland. “Please join us and add your voice. The more diversity the better”, he said.

Journalist Kathryn Johnston, National Union of Journalists representative and part of the VIEWdigital team, helped to organise the workshops. The NUJ is among the organisations sponsoring the event.

“These two workshops are a fantastic opportunity for a dialogue between young and aspiring journalists, working journalists, peace and community activists, academics and victims and survivors of the troubles around the themes of how trauma and PTSD have traditionally been reported, how we could report trauma differently in the future and potential platforms and models for responsible reporting of trauma and conflict.’, she said.

Professor Youngblood said: “In the morning, presenters will discuss trauma and PTSD, a critique on traditional structures and framing of political stories, information on the impact of reporting on trauma victims, and a discussion about traditional media reporting about children, anniversaries and marches, and psychological trauma.

“In the afternoon, the workshop will turn to solutions. Presentations will include how to report trauma in a socially responsible manner, how media can break away from traditional frames, and finding and creating platforms for responsible trauma reporting. The event will conclude with a press conference featuring those impacted by trauma.”

VIEWdigital has published an edition of VIEW magazine about victims and survivors of the Troubles in Northern Ireland with articles from Paul Gallagher and Kathryn Johnston. The magazine is available to read at https://viewdigital.org/view-issue-51-an-in-depth-look-at-victims-survivors-and-legacy-issues-from-the-troubles/

Last year the Victims & Dealing with the Past project at Queen’s University Belfast published guidelines on media reporting which are available online: https://victimsandthepast.org/launch-of-media-guidelines/

The reporting trauma workshops at St Columb’s Hall in Derry on March 12 and Belfast Metropolitan College Springvale Campus on March 13 are free and lunch is provided; register to attend via this link: https://sharedfuture.news/events/ 

 
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