In Haiti, Reporter-Doctors Face New Balancing Act

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Washington Post

Some of the most visible American television correspondents in Haiti aren’t just reporting the story. They’re actively participating in it in an unusual way — performing surgeries, providing medical treatment and even delivering babies on camera.

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.

The twin roles — doctor and journalist — might be a reflection of the Gupta Effect, after CNN’s dashing medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta. More…