Perspectives

Reporter Tania Rashid: Covering Human Tragedies Takes Toll on Journalists


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Freelance journalist Tania Rashid says covering human tragedies can take a psychological toll on reporters who face human misery day-after-day.

She says it is immensely distressing to see people suffering, through no fault of their own, simply because of their race or ethnicity.

Rashid has spent a great amount of time covering the Rohingya refugee crisis as the Rohingya people flee Myanmar into Bangladesh to form the world’s largest refugee camp.

Her reporting of the trials, tribulations and turmoils of the refugees has led to stories about terrible living conditions, lack of food, rape, abuse and sex trafficking. She even went undercover to report how Rohingya young girls are recruited to work in brothels.

Rashid also reported on how 12 and 13 year old girls are being forced into marriages with strangers they don’t even know.

Rashid says that witnessing such immense human tragedy forces her, as a reporter, to sometimes reach out with help for the subjects of her stories. She cannot just remain a passive observer.

She also says that covering these types of stories of human carnage and degradation forces her constantly to examine her journalistic ethics. She is acutely aware sometimes of protecting the identity of her sources to prevent them from suffering further abuse because of talking with a reporter.

Rashid becomes infuriated with journalism colleagues who do not protect victims that they report about and sometimes cavalierly disclose names and faces of those who may suffer more abuse for telling their stories.

Rashid’s work has been seen on the PBS News Hour, CNN International, Vice News and on Al Jazeera. She has an undergraduate degree in history and global studies from UCLA and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

You can review Rashid’s work at her website: http://taniarashid.com/