Nieman Reports

A journal presenting information concerning media issues for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 63, No. 4, Winter

2001
Ken Armstrong received the 2009 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism for producing investigative reports over the past 20 years that have had an impact. Armstrong works on the investigative team for The Seattle Times, where he has...
Aftermath: Journalists' Stories
Scan headlines and our journalistic challenges reveal themselves. "Mother Slain in Lowell as Children Watch; Man Held" "Gang Gunfire May Chase Chicago Children From Their School" "War Memories May Harm Health" "Murder and Mayhem at Fort...
A Journalist and a Survivor
Julia Lieblich, a journalism professor at Loyola University in Chicago, and Esad Boskailo, a psychiatrist and a concentration camp survivor from the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian conflict, are coauthoring a book about finding meaning after terror. Each...
A Laid-Off Journalist Charts a New Course Via Social Media: Traveling the Country, She and Her Family Were Inspired by Hearing People's Stories of Resilience in Hard Times
Three days after covering the Obama inauguration, I was part of an unexpected mass layoff at WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. I was among 26 journalists who lost their jobs that winter day. So I simply did what comes naturally in the...
Approaching Emotional Pain-As a Journalist
In a panel discussion entitled "The Narrative of Emotional Injury," author and journalist Pete Hamill, psychologist Elana Newman, and psychiatrist Jonathan Shay spoke about various dimensions of trauma--journalistic, clinical and political. What follows...
Art and Literature: Guiding Journalists in Trauma's Portrayal
E. Ann Kaplan is a distinguished professor of English and comparative literary and cultural studies at Stony Brook University. A literary and film scholar, she has written several books and papers about how trauma is portrayed in various media, including...
Art and Trauma-And Journalist as Observer
Journalists at the "Aftermath" conference talked about the intersection of trauma and art. Leading the conversation were Chris Vognar, a movie critic at The Dallas Morning News and a 2009 Nieman Fellow, and Alicia Anstead, a 2008 Nieman Fellow who...
Bolstering a Beat: A Nieman Fellowship for Business Journalism
The business of journalism is a subject of extensive coverage-explaining the decline in newspaper revenues, the reason newspaper journalists are losing their jobs, stories the public is missing as a result, and the search for new ways of paying for...
Bringing the Wit and Wisdom of Molly Ivins to the Stage: Two Journalists Turned Playwrights Mine a Mother Lode of Material in the Writings of the Acerbic Political Observer
Journalists can cut compelling figures on the stage. Think Mark Twain, as portrayed by Hal Holbrook. Or Will Rogers. Who better to entertain and provoke audiences now but Molly Ivins, the red hot rose of Texas who was syndicated in nearly 400 newspapers...
Bringing What's Buried in Folders to Life
Julia Reynolds, a criminal justice reporter for The Monterey County (Calif.) Herald and 2009 Nieman Fellow, moderated this panel presentation about the intersection of investigative journalism and trauma. She led off by offering this observation: ...
Connecting Threads of Individual Pain with Societal Responsibility: From Northern Ireland, Chile and Kosovo Come Stories of the Struggle People Have in Healing from Terror and Torture When Political Accountability and Reconciliation Are Absent
Jack Saul, a public health psychologist who works in New York City with survivors of political violence and torture refugees, introduced the panel "Speaking Horror: Truth, Accountability and Reconciliation," which explored telling the stories of trauma...
Fondly Remembering a '62 Nieman Classmate
Jack Nelson and I had a lot in common during our Nieman year. Jack had been covering segregation and race relations in the American South. I had just come from South Africa, as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, covering apartheid and...
How to Do an Interview-When Trauma Is the Topic
Ruth Teichroeb was an investigative reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In her 22 years as a reporter, she devoted much of her time to covering social issues involving vulnerable people. She described her work as being about "children, child...
In Search of an 'Inside Narrative'
In thinking about why journalists gather to discuss storytelling about trauma, Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, recalled a book he'd read in a college class while he was learning how to be a reporter:...
It Matters Who Tells the Story in the Middle East
Scheherezade Faramarzi is an Associated Press reporter who has covered the major conflicts in the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan and North Africa during the last three decades. Her reporting has focused on revolutions, civil war, suicide bombings,...
Jack Nelson, 1929-2009; Noted for His Reporting on Civil Rights Movement and Watergate
Jack Nelson, NF '62, the Pulitzer Prize winner who helped bring the Los Angeles Times to national prominence with decades of hard-nosed reporting--from the civil rights movement in the South to the Watergate scandal in Washington--died at his home...
Manipulator or Human Rights Facilitator? A Journalist Involved with the South African Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Coverage of That Country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Describes How It Was Done and Why Decisions Made about Its Approach Matter
A quarter of a century ago, truth commissions emerged as one of the vehicles of transitional justice after times of violence. In the mid-1990's, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) brought new approaches to the process: It gave...
Shooting War: A Photographer's Vision
Protests against the Indian occupation of Srinagar, Kashmir grew more violent after members of India's security forces allegedly raped and murdered two young women in late May. When Marcus Bleasdale visited in July, angry residents' clashed with Kashmir's...
Tears Are Part of Telling the Story
It's happening again. The man sitting next to me is crying. He's fighting the tears, but the tears are winning and right now he's like a prizefighter who has been knocked to the canvas, wobbly but determined to go on. After a long pause, he spits out...
The Important History News Organizations Have to Tell: By Creating Archives of Company Records 'We Can Learn How the Paper Developed and Organized Itself, How Editors and Reporters Approached Stories, and How Community Leaders and Ordinary Citizens Responded to Them.'
Newspapers, once treated like members of the family, welcomed at breakfast tables and at Sunday brunch, are increasingly estranged. In Denver, the venerable Rocky Mountain News has ceased publication. In Seattle, the Post-Intelligencer has gone, replaced...
The Iraqi Shoe-Thrower: When Endangered Journalists Need Help
One thing is certain: Decide to work as a trainer with international journalists from areas of conflict, such as the Middle East or the Balkans, and you will share the pain of their stress, the trauma of their physical injuries, and the heavy price...
Trauma in New Orleans: In the Wake of Katrina: Journalists and a Poet Explore This Story's Intimacy, Its Emotional Power, and Its Cultural Significance
Jed Horne was an editor and reporter with The Times-Picayune in New Orleans for 20 years before leaving in 2007 to write books. He is the author of "Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City," published by Random...
Trauma in the Aftermath: The Conference
Trauma resides on pathways carved by acts of violence, witnessed and experienced, and by the close proximity of tragedy. The sudden upheaval visited on an individual, whether she is the victim or a person left to grieve, and the pounding pressures...
Veteran Reporter Jon Alpert Is Recognized with the I.F. Stone Medal
Jon Alpert, a veteran investigative reporter, producer and documentary filmmaker, has been awarded the 2009 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In a career that has spanned more than 35 years, Alpert has covered...
Visual Storytelling about the Human Condition
Brian Storm is the president of MediaStorm, which produces multimedia narratives that combine audio, video, still photography, and animation to tell stories of the human condition. They include "Intended Consequences" about Rwandan women who became...
When a Crime Is Just the Beginning of the Story: By Establishing Relationships of Trust with Those Touched by Crime, Reporters Discover an Intimacy of Thought and Emotion That Can Assist Healing-For Individuals and for Communities
Julia Reynolds, a 2009 Nieman Fellow, began reporting on crime for the Monterey County (Calif.) Herald after she'd spent four years working on a documentary film about gang violence in Salinas, California. A personal experience she had with violent...
When Language Fails Us
Alexander McFarlane, a psychiatrist who heads the Centre for Military and Veterans' Health at the University of Adelaide in Australia, spoke at the "Aftermath" conference about how trauma affects the brain and the failure of language to express those...
When Murder Strikes a Small Community
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On the evening of February 7, 2008, a large, angry man-whom I had once put on the front page of the hometown newspaper as a model citizen--went on a shooting spree at our local city hall. He pumped rounds into two police officers,...
When They Come for Us
The smell of open sewers hung thickly in the air. A makeshift tent of palm leaves, asbestos sheets, and a checked blue sarong stood bravely, defiantly even, on this ravaged soil--ravaged first by the tsunami, then by Tamil Tiger terrorists, and finally...
When War Ends: The Trauma That Remains
In her introduction to "Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict," photographer Lori Grinker writes, "If I have discovered any single truth about war ... it is that it is a deeply personal experience.... What is common to all is the aftermath."...
Women War Correspondents: They Are Different in So Many Ways
"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...