Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trigger Issue or Too Lazy to Work on a 3-Day Weekend?

After all the silliness about trigger warnings - which seems to have its roots at UC-Santa Barbara - being used on syllabi and to justify misconduct comes a tale from Calbuzz that suggests that the trigger issue was what was behind the "official" student paper at UC-SB not to cover the killings there while the unofficial student paper did provide coverage:

The Daily Nexus, the independent, student-run newspaper at UC Santa Barbara, posted its first story about the mass murders in Isla Vista at 10:27 p.m. Friday night, one hour after the earliest law enforcement report of  ”shots fired.”  The paper’s reporters, photographers and editors haven’t stopped working since.  The Bottom Line, their student government-financed, journalistic rival, posted its first story two days later, an op-ed that carried this stunning headline: “Why We Have Not Yet Published Anything on the Isla Vista Shooting.”

Whenever tragedy strikes, emergency responders and journalists are some of the first on scene and are, consequently, more likely to suffer from emotional trauma because of it. As stated in the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, a code we at The Bottom Line strive to uphold every day in our reporting, we are to minimize harm, whether physical or emotional. Ethical “journalists should show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage.”  After extensive discussions among our Editorial Staff, advisor and alumni, we have decided to not immediately publish an article on the recent tragedy in our community of Isla Vista to minimize the emotional harm for our reporters, photographers and multimedia journalists. Before we are journalists, we are Gauchos and feel we need our time to mourn, process and recover from this senseless violence.

Triggers: The murders come at a time when “trigger warnings,” a buzzword that suddenly seems wildly inappropriate, have become a high-profile issue among students at UCSB and elsewhere.  “Trigger warnings” are start-of-class disclaimers which some students have sought professors to provide about potentially uncomfortable discussion or reading content in classes, such as suicide, rape or racism, “that may trigger the onset of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”  It’s impossible to escape the conclusion that The Bottom Line’s decision arose from its fundamentally conflicted identity as both a purveyor of campus news and an organ for elected student body leaders and, presumably, their constituents...

Full story at

As our blog title notes, maybe the trigger thing had something to do with it.  Or maybe it was the temptation to find an excuse not to work over the Memorial Day, 3-day weekend.

Sometimes it is hard to get out of bed:

No comments: