What’s the difference between the story of a flood told by a reporter and that told by someone who was in it?

That was one of the questions explored in a seminar held at the University of Glamorgan’s Atrium in Cardiff this week. It was part of a series on the theme ‘Learning to Live with Water: Flood histories, Environmental Change, Remembrance and Resilience’ and brought together (among others) geographers, story-tellers, academics, artists, emergency planners and poets.

As a contribution, I drew the participants’ attention to the excellent resources and discussion at the DART Center for Journalism & Trauma – especially the current material on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami (including detailed advice on all the challenges facing reporters in such a situation).

Photo: Nine Network / 60 Minutes

Torn Apart – Reporting Heartbreak
Particularly interesting for journalists – and journalism students – is this response of a TV producer who was accused of exploiting a family who lost a child in the Queensland floods. It tells us a lot about the positive impact of good journalism – which does exist!

The Flood Histories project is based at the University of Gloucester and Glamorgan’s George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling.

Find out more about our Journalism courses.