Journal article

Survivor autonomy: An ethical starting point in covering disasters

D Muller

Ethical Space: the international journal of communication ethics | Abramis Academic | Published : 2017


In the aftermath of disasters, media practitioners bear witness, exert accountability on those in power, provide part of the means by which a society engages in a shared ritual of grieving and reassert certain values that enable people to cohere in the fact of horror and outrage. To do this, they necessarily encounter survivors, first-hand witnesses to what has happened. These witnesses will be traumatised and vulnerable, confronting media practitioners with an acute ethical dilemma: how to fulfil their professional obligations while minimising harm. This paper, which argues that recognising and respecting survivor autonomy is an essential starting point, takes as its case study the coverage..

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University of Melbourne Researchers