Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

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Haunted Witness

About the film

Trauma suffered by crime reporters is an under-reported and stigmatised issue. It is often forgotten or widely unacknowledged that like policeman and paramedics, journalists are first responders to daily scenes of horror. Admitting to experiencing trauma to newsroom colleagues, however, is widely denounced within the industry. 
The overwhelming majority of news people whose lives and careers are touched by traumatic stress are not covering brutal wars or natural disasters in distant lands. They are mostly domestic journalists who witness car accidents, murder scenes, suicides and plane crashes. 
Jeremy Hainsworth is a Vancouver-based freelance journalist who writes for the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and a variety of civil rights news outlets. During his illustrious career he covered Canada’s worst serial murder trial; that of pig farmer Robert Pickton. Hainsworth experienced horrendous nightmares during the trial, self-medicated with illegal drugs and later suffered a mental breakdown. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of covering the Pickton case and years of crime reporting where he attended scenes of murder, suicide and fatal car accidents. 
Haunted Witness reveals how Hainsworth suffered in silence while management showed a shocking lack of support for his mental health and wellbeing. His story shines a light on the failure of media organisations to properly monitor and manage the mental health of their staff.

Runtime 10 mins 10 secs
Premiere Melbourne Premiere

Director(s) Daniel Clarke

Venue Cinema Nova

Address 380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Date July 21, 2019

Time 11:00 am

GenresAustralian, Shorts, Alumni

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2019 Films

Feature Docs

Blockbuster / Premiere


Docs After Dark




Hidden Gems / Indie

True Crime / Stranger Than Fiction

Doc Web Series / Video Essay

Melbourne Stories

World Cinema

Women in Film



Film Buff

Environmental / Tech / Health

Doc Challenge

Art Documentaries

Legends of Documentary




Award Winning

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