Journalists learn detachment in order to cover human trauma, say two leading journalists.
The Press journalist Martin van Beynen and TVNZ journalist Tim Wilson talked to Philip Matthews in an "On the Spot" section during the Christchurch Writer's Festival at the Hagley Park Geo Dome last night.
They talked about how their experiences of human responses to disaster have fed into different books.
Van Beynen, who has covered the Christchurch earthquakes, and Wilson, who covered Hurrican Katrina in America, agreed that it was human nature to want to talk to someone after a disaster.
Wilson, who has worked in television in New Zealand and America, said people in the States were more likely to talk to him because he was a foreigner.
Meanwhile, van Beynen found Cantabrians spoke to Press reporters in the aftermath of February 22 2011 as they realised that they were going through a similar experience.
"I was always grateful to the people who have talked to me...these people had trusted me to tell their story"
He said reporters learnt to be detached as it did not help for them to be "highly emotional" when interviewing someone.
"But, you do learn something about treating traumatised people."
The festival finishes today.
For more information go to chchwritersfest.co.nz
- © Fairfax NZ News
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