Most of the audience kept their hands down. It is not something any of us like to think about.
Dealing with traumatic and violent images is part of the working day for many journalists, this can result in what Mr Rees “vicarious trauma”.
News services recruit people specifically to search social media for user generated content to provide eye-witness footage to tell stories.
These journalists are watching at the front line of battle without staring down the barrel of an AK47.
Mr Rees spoke without slides as images stay with us. It is a fundamental part of the mammal brain.
He said: “After going to Afghanistan I had time to decompress.
“You’re there, then when looking at images it affected me much more.”
When he was out in the field he expected it. He was shot, shot at, saw people dying around him.
Going into a war zone is not a pleasant experience and he knew it,
Seeing footage of the same thing then having a chat with someone about last night’s TV is a difficult transition.
Sam Dubberley on Twitter co-founder of Eyewitness Media Hub, explained how data gathered found 56% of front line journalists expect to see disturbing as part of their jobs and 46% feel disturbed by it.
As one of his slides stated: “We do the Internet, that’s kittens…”
Journalist looking through Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and a multitude of other resources, see violence, blood and death.
Going back to the personal care plan, how can journalists protect themselves? How can employers help them?
- Alternating what people work on. For example one week quirky and kittens, the following week Syria and Yemen.
- Encouraging people to talk to one another. Share what upsets or traumatises. A trouble shared is a trouble halved is a useful piece of home-spun wisdom.
- Take regular screen breaks.
- Have plants and green things around you.
- Use a mask over images or a piece of paper against the screen.
And finally, watch this: