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dead+guys-+reporters+doubling+as+docs - The Observatory...

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The Observatory — January 20, 2010 05:15 PM – Posted on Columbia Journalism Review - http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/reporters_doubling_as_docs_in_1.php Reporters Doubling as Docs in Haiti Dual roles raise concerns about journalistic ethics By Curtis Brainard Prominent television journalists who are also certified doctors have been treating injured patients amidst the recovery and relief efforts  in Haiti, sparking debate about journalistic ethics and the role of M.D. medical correspondents in crisis situations. The trend has emerged as a significant storyline this week.  The Washington Post   reported  Wednesday that: For the first time, all of the major domestic TV news networks have deployed doctor-reporters to the scene of a natural disaster,  producing a dramatic kind of participatory journalism.  Jennifer Ashton , CBS News’s medical correspondent and a doctor,  assisted  with  the treatment of a teenage girl whose arm had been amputated.  NBC’s Nancy Snyderman , a surgeon, has  spent  days splinting broken  bones, while  ABC’s Richard Besser , a doctor formerly affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  helped  a woman  deliver a premature baby. CNN’s  Dr. Sanjay Gupta  has also donned his physician’s cap in Haiti. The Association of Healthcare Journalists blog has an  excellent   roundup  of clips of him and the others jumping into action, as well as links to related commentary about whether or not they should be  doing so. Gupta got the debate rolling two days after the 7.0 earthquake struck, when CNN published a  four-minute video report  on its Web site  that showed him examining a fifteen-day-old baby with a minor head injury whose mother had died in the quake. The  Los Angeles Times  covered the story the same day, in a  blog post  that raised questions about whether or not Gupta had violated journalistic ethics. “There definitely are cases where a journalist who is qualified can and should provide medical assistance when the need is immediate  and profound,”  Bob Steele , a journalism values scholar at The Poynter Institute and journalism professor at DePauw University, told the  Times . “If it’s imperative that he intervene and help medically, then take him out of his journalistic role and do that. But don’t have him 
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