"Caring about what you see may well be the key to good reporting, for it means you look closer, and you look to find out why. The much-bruited idea that we are all damaged by grim experience is countered surely by the idea that we are all changed by experience, but not necessarily for the worse."
--Kate Adie, BBC, from her autobiography, "The Kindness of Strangers"
Reporting from a war zone is increasingly hazardous. Mortality figures for journalists covering conflict during the last century reveal that in the Great War of 1914-1918, two journalists lost their lives. In the six years of World War II, 66 died, 17 died during the Korean War, and 58 journalists were killed during the prolonged Vietnam conflict. In Iraq, the Vietnam casualties have more than doubled in a conflict that has not yet ended.
This troubling progression is not happening because Fallujah is any more dangerous than the trenches in World War I. Rather this rise reflects a fundamental change in the way that war is now fought; warring factions often regard journalists as targets.
The heightened danger and ubiquitous threat that journalists confront carries significant psychological challenges. Exposure to life-threatening events creates potential risk for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and substance abuse, and journalists are not immune. Data collected from a group of 218 frontline journalists who …