By Memet Walker
It’s day one for me at the 2013 AEJMC conference in DC… Interesting discussions abound.
I attended three panels today, but the one I was most interested in going to was a discussion called “Trauma Journalism: The Cost of Covering Strife and War.”
The topic, unsurprisingly, involved the effect covering warzones can have on journalists.
I’ve mentioned in my SHFWire bio that I served four years in the U.S. Air Force. I never served in Iraq or Afghanistan, but knew people who did.
Being in the military, particularly the Walter Reed scandal, was a big part of why I decided I wanted to pursue journalism.
I asked one of the panelists, Malini Wilkes, a former Baghdad correspondent for Fox News during the Iraq War, if she had any opinion on whether veterans would make better correspondents or worse ones, since you’re probably more likely to sympathize with troops and their actions.
Her answer was pretty expected – something along the lines of, “You just have to stay aware of those biases and not let them affect your work.”
From the people he talked to, when journalists see the horrors of war, no one is unbiased. And many of the best reporters have been veterans themselves.
I’m ready to go. Now if someone here will just hire me…