Journalists in Natural Disasters: Participate or Report?
Mr. Fancher's article has some thoughtful information for both journalists and news consumers.
In particular, he referred readers to the Dart Center for Journalism website. The website has front page links to "tips & tools" for journalists covering natural disasters. Two of the online pieces include Covering Disasters and First Responders, a guide for the journalist who is the first "first responder" to arrive on the scene.
We news consumers can easily forget that first responders may be disaster victims themselves. There was extensive news coverage describing how employees of the New Orleans Police Department became victims of Hurricane Katrina and how many of them continued to perform selflessly. Yet there were few if any stories about how victim journalists carried on with equal courage. The absence of stories about journalist victims is unsurprising; it would probably be viewed as unseemly if journalists were to report on their own victimization. But there were journalists who suffered great personal loss. Here's a link to how we can help them.