I have thought about what my final words in life are going to be way more often than I am willing to admit. I thought about testing it here, but I decided yet against it.
This’ll be my concluding blog for Segment 3. I’m REALLY torn up about it… Alright, actually the assignment wasn’t that bad. I was lucky enough to pick a topic that I cared about and may affect me someday, so overall, I didn’t hate it.
So where am I now?
When I first started the project, I knew absolutely nothing about it. I knew the subject MIGHT exist, because we discussed an article in class that talked about the psychological effects on killers after they’ve committed their crimes. I stole the idea from that. At first, my Google searches failed me, and I was nervous to stick with this topic. If Google doesn’t find something after the first search, I get bummed out. I am glad I stuck with it though, because I ended up learning a lot.
I’ve learned exactly what psychological effect are: examples, causes, symptoms, remedies, etc. I dug deep into statistics about journalists diagnosed with PTSD and depression and looked into alcohol abuse. I’ve looked at experiences from real journalists – their journeys from seeing the traumatic event to being diagnosed and seeking help. I’ve looked in to what can be done.
Looking back, I like to think I’ve touched on a little bit of everything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. After finding 40 sources for the first part of Segment 3, ending the second half with under 20 seems insane and makes me feel under-researched. In the end, I still ended up actually using some of the skills from the first part of Segment 3 though. Except the library. Never again.
Some conclusions I’ve arrived at… The big one is I’ve come to realize that this topic has no content with it. Sure, it got easier to find sources with Google as I got deeper into it, but in the beginning, it was difficult to find more than a few articles with what I was looking for. It made me realize how little people think this is an issue. It gave me a splendid idea for Segment 4.
I’ve learned that journalists ARE affected by what they report on. I remember one of my articles compared the extent of the PTSD in one reporter to that of a soldier. I’ve always been taught, not that reporters are cold and heartless, but they are resilient and strong. While this is true most of the time, I couldn’t deny the results I found in my research saying that wasn’t always the case, and worst of all, that no one cared. Okay, very few people cared. A lot of people just hadn’t looked into the idea. I had the opportunity to read a lot of information about my topic towards the end.
On a more general note, I learned a lot more about PTSD and depression and the symptoms, causes, etc. that go along with it.
Most importantly of all, I found a lot of tips on how to solve this problem.
If I had more time, I’d dig further into solutions. It’s easy to walk up to a news organization and show them what I’ve found, then they say “Great, what do you want us to do about it?” and I show them the few options I’ve found. In a perfect world, I’d whip out a binder that’s organized by colored tabs, has scented papers, and features a list of 50 different ways to help reporters. Unfortunately, my scented binder would only be a page long right now with a bulleted list. Probably no scented pages either.
The first half of Segment 3 was messy. I liked my topic, but finding all those sources to meet a million different requirements was tricky and time consuming. The second half was different. I was a lot more passionate about my research, and sources became easier to come across as I got deeper.
This topic is me basically. In (almost) three years, I’ll be leaving Eau Claire and frolicking off into the real world of journalism, messy as it is. I’m glad I got to do this research then. I know a little of what to expect and how to protect myself.
What else could possibly go wrong?
For real this time, signing off.