Journalists as Witnesses to Executions
Kenna R. Griffin
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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Journalistik
The Viewing Room: How Journalists Prepare for and Respond to Witnessing Executions discusses the need for individual and organizational journalism training on coping with trauma exposure and providing support after being exposed to trauma, specifically as it pertains to the aftermath of witnessing and covering executions. The United States executed 46 people in 2010. At least one journalist witnessed each of the deaths. Thirty-three of those journalists were interviewed for this book. They witnessed an electrocution, firing squad death or a lethal injection, with some having witnessed more than one execution that year by the time they were interviewed. Kenna R. Griffin argues that support before and after trauma exposure would help journalists cope with emotions related to experiencing traumatic events, and could even help them avoid emotional trauma altogether. It is newsroom managers’ responsibility to create supportive work environments with climates focused on education, training, communication, safety, and emotional well-being—most of which don’t appear to be present when journalists witness executions, and all of which are necessary to create a more mentally healthy profession. Scholars of journalism, trauma, and legal studies will find this book particularly useful.