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Journalists offered counseling for witnessing tragedy

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  1. Newsgathering

    NMU         NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, D.C.         Newsgathering         Oct 1, 2001    

Journalists offered counseling for witnessing tragedy

  • The National Press Photographer’s Association asks for donations in support of Newscoverage Unlimited, an organization set up to help journalists who witness horrific events such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C.

The National Press Photographer’s Association has asked other journalists for donations for Newscoverage Unlimited, which organizes support for photojournalists who have witnessed horror while working.

“We need to take care of the minds of journalists,” said David Handschuh, a former NPPA president. “This is crucial to continued success of news gathering.”

The fund, set up by NPPA, will go to Newscoverage Unlimited to assist photographers, editors, students and reporters who were exposed to the effects of the capturing the news of Sept. 11 and are still troubled by it.

Handschuh said journalists are often reminded to take care of their bodies and stay healthy, but nobody warns them that continuing to see horrible things, such as auto accidents, is hazardous to their mental health.

“This is not just in New York, Washington or Pennsylvania. This is everywhere,” he said. “For the past three weeks, there are reporters who have gone all across the country interviewing people who have lost friends, family, and loved ones during this tragedy.”

The NPPA has asked Dr. Frank Ochberg of the Dart Foundation and Frema Engel, a leader in trauma counseling, to offer support and counseling to those involved with the peer counseling program. Other professionals involved with the program are Dr. Roger Simpson, director of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the University of Washington; Dr. Elana Newman of the University of Tulsa; Dr. Meg Moritz of the University of Colorado; and Chris Cramer, president of CNN International Networks.

Donations may be made online at


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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