This week’s Resolute Bay plane crash has journalists scrambling for reactions from survivors and mourners. Right or wrong, the trauma interview is an increasingly common assignment. Some wonder if all this ‘compassion coverage’ has a down side. In particular, interviewing children about traumatic events raises cautions. There is also the ongoing question of horror versus taste when it comes to covering accidents. Reporting on trauma is in itself traumatic, resulting in what some call ‘assignment stress injury.’ Yet grief is now an expected part of the daily news diet, to the point that there is a trauma journalism competition for the best 'tragedy impact' stories. Has the media, as this book suggests, helped create a new ‘trauma culture?’


Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at