A ‘jOurNalisT’ was mocked up and down, left and right, all over Twitter when she penned an editorial for USA Today that seemed like they were trying to compare journalist life to first responders, educators, and people who really experience things in real life. You know, like actual trauma.
USA Today’s tweet said: “Journalists carry trauma ‘on our souls’,” USA TODAY Editor in Chief Nicole Carroll for@usatodayopinion. “Our industry, of course, is not the only one. Health care workers, educators, first responders and many others face new pressures.”
"Journalists carry trauma 'on our souls'," USA TODAY Editor in Chief Nicole Carroll for @usatodayopinion. “Our industry, of course, is not the only one. Health care workers, educators, first responders and many others face new pressures.”https://t.co/J0Dq1McFdw
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 23, 2022
This is the part where we tilt our heads back and laugh. First of all, if you’re just writing about things, then you’re not living it or experiencing it at all. Not even close. It’s like watching or writing a horror story. You’re not part of it, you’re just watching or writing it – not LIVING IT.
Teachers are like second parents. They spend about six hours a day with our kids and become part of their lives. Teachers experience trauma through their students, sometimes being there to guide them through it. Teachers are important people who help our kids grow, learn, and become adults. The only teachers we don’t like are those awful far left liberal teachers who think it’s appropriate to bring their personal gender life into the classroom – it’s not appropriate and we don’t like them or want those people in our schools.
When it comes to first responders, they see trauma first hand. They’re part of the aftermath which is sometimes horrific, literally seeing, smelling, and hearing real trauma – not sitting on their couch petting a cat and writing a blog post about it.
Part of this terrible opinion column on USA Today said this:
Journalists carry trauma ‘on our souls’
Even if we don’t see things firsthand, we constantly write about shootings, edit graphic images and videos, interview those left behind.
“We are engaged in constant empathetic engagement with often profoundly traumatized and vulnerable sources and communities – and we carry those on our souls,” said Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
First of all, shut up. You don’t carry trauma on anything. You’re just sitting there writing a story, putting words on a screen, and moving on with your life. You’re not carrying one ounce of trauma from any story you’ve ever covered. Nothing. You’re just a human skin-flap typing letters and no one cares who you are. You are not the important person in the story who’s suffering loss or real trauma.
It’s embarrassing to see a blogger/journalist make other people’s trauma all about them. The stories we write about are not about us. It sounds really awful for that person, Nicole Carroll, to sit there and make other people’s actual lives about her. What kind of self-centered attention-seeking person do you have to be, to say something like this?
If words about a horrible story are traumatizing people like Nicole Carroll, then they should learn to code.