Care Must Be Taken in Reporting Trauma in Mumbai, says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has extended its condolences to all those affected by the July 11 train bombings in Mumbai, India, and its concern for the well-being of journalists who have been affected by the tragedy.


The death toll from the attack currently stands at 200, after first-class train carriages were targeted in India’s financial hub.


The IFJ is now investigating whether any media workers have been killed or injured as a result of the attack, and asks its affiliate organisations in the region to continue to support affected journalists and their families.


“The IFJ and its affiliates are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and injuries that has occurred, and we express our deepest sympathy to those affected,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.


“We are also thinking of our journalist colleagues, media workers and their families who may have been affected by the tragedy,” he said.


The IFJ calls upon those journalists reporting on the tragedy to be sensitive toward victims and all those affected by Tuesday’s attack, but also to remember their own emotional well-being when covering trauma.


“The IFJ reminds journalists that this is a time of grieving for many people, and they have the right to do so in privacy,” Warren said.


“The continued responsible reporting of journalists in the region will be vital in bringing news of recovery and relief efforts to local communities and to the world, and as such ensuring support mechanisms are in place for journalists is essential to this process,” said Warren.


The IFJ also stresses the importance of journalists working in the region to be aware of their own personal and emotional safety, and not to put themselves or those around them in danger.


“It can take weeks or even months for trauma from tragedies such as this to set in, and we urge any media workers who have been affected to seek counselling or medical assistance,” Warren said.


“The traumatic stories journalists hear from survivors and victim’s families can often have a vicarious affect, and it’s vital that both victims and journalists receive the support and protection they need to cope. Importantly, editors and colleagues need to be aware of the signs of trauma for journalists.”


The Australasian DART Centre for Journalism and Trauma has extensive information on reporting in disaster zones. For more information visit http://www.dartcenter.org/australasia/index.html

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 120 countries