One tune, three dances : using a traumatic stress framework to understand trauma survivors as networked news sources

Gearing, Amanda Ann (2013) One tune, three dances : using a traumatic stress framework to understand trauma survivors as networked news sources. In Places, Spaces, Networks and Intermedia : 8th Australian Media Traditions Conference, 25-26 November 2013, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD. (Unpublished)


Newman and Nelson (2012) describe three ‘dances’ to explain the vacillating psychological states of trauma survivors: the dance of approach and avoidance; the dance of fragmentation and integration; and the dance of resilience and vulnerability. The first pair of seemingly opposite responses describes how survivors at times cope by ‘approaching’ the trauma, for example by gathering information about what happened; whilst at other times, the same person will cope by ‘avoiding’ the trauma by engaging in activities which distract them from the memory of the trauma or having to deal with the consequences of it. The ‘dance’ of fragmentation and integration describes the opposing individual or group experiences encountered after traumas or disasters. Individuals may experience fragmentation, or emotional disconnection, from the trauma as an adaptive means of survival. The ‘dance’ of resilience and vulnerability refers to an individual’s ability to ‘process’ trauma and return to a resilient state in which they re-learn to trust people and the world around them and ‘bounce back’ to a state of being resilient again.

This paper will illustrate how an understanding of the three dances can be used to enable survivors of child sexual assault to engage with the media to tell their stories. I will give current examples from six months of journalism research, collaboration and writing of a series of news stories and features which broke an exclusive story simultaneously in The Australian and The Times in London during 2013.

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ID Code: 68622
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: trauma, reporting, approach and avoidance, fragmentation and integration, resilience and vulnerability, collaborative reporting, media engagement
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2014 01:13
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2014 01:14

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