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‘Give journalism students trauma and safety training’, conference told

Journalism students should receive training in safety and trauma as part of the NCTJ’s curriculum, it has been suggested.

The idea was touted during a discussion on reporting disasters and terrorism at the NCTJ’s journalism skills conference held at Sky headquarters, in London, this afternoon.

It was raised during a panel debate featuring BBC special correspondent Lucy Manning, Sun on Sunday news editor Matthew Bell, Daily Mail assistant editor Neil Darbyshire, Guardian journalist Harrison Jones and News Associates managing editor James Toney.

During the debate, Matthew had mentioned hostile environment training which is offered to Sun journalists entering foreign warzones.

The panel, from left: Lucy Manning, Matthew Bell, Neil Darbyshire, Harrison Jones and James Toney

The panel, from left: Lucy Manning, Matthew Bell, Neil Darbyshire, Harrison Jones and James Toney

Other panel members discussed their experience of the type of counselling that was offered to journalists from their organisations who covered three terror attacks on UK soil earlier this year.

When the discussion was opened to delegates, Press Association Training London managing director Mark Wray queried whether training of this nature should be given to students on NCTJ courses.

He told the conference: “This is a really important discussion, and there is something we can do collectively. It’s not hostile environment training.

“I think taking this as a subject at this conference, if this ought to be more than just an important conversation. It ought to lead to action.

“[I wonder] whether we should start thinking about the role of safety and trauma training within our curriculum.

“We need to find a place in our curriculum to take safety and trauma more seriously.”

Mark added: “It’s about trauma from the point of view of the journalist, and the point of view of victims and victims’ families.”

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