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Oct 26 2009

Event Audio

Covering Trauma in Latin America

The Effects of Trauma on Journalists

At the workshop "Covering Violence: Trauma and Journalism in Latin America," psychiatrist and researcher Anthony Feinstein presents his pioneering work on journalists who cover conflict.


Argentine journalist Cristian Alarcón asks a question of psychiatrist Anthony Feinstein.

Argentine journalist Cristian Alarcón asks a question of psychiatrist Anthony Feinstein.

At the workshop "Covering Violence: Trauma and Journalism in Latin America," psychiatrist and researcher Anthony Feinstein presented his pioneering work on journalists who cover conflict. The workshop was held at the Columbia Journalism School in New York City on Oct. 13 and 14, 2009.

Download or listen to Professor of Psychiatry Anthony Feinstein:

 

Dr. Anthony Feinstein conducted the first studies investigating the psychological toll of covering war. His research showed that career war reporters face significant risk of developing symptoms of chronic emotional distress, ranging from depression and anxiety to alcohol and drug abuse, relationship breakdown and full-scale post-traumatic stress disorder. Feinstein said his finding that journalists who cover war show dramatically higher incidence of PTSD and major depression than other journalists "wasn't surprising," considering the much higher incidence of trauma they faced. More notable: they were not any more likely to face psychological help. Feinstein also discussed his more recent research into why some journalists seem attracted to high-risk assignments – what he calls “dangerous lives.” Asked whether his work, which focused on Western correspondents covering foreign conflicts, applied to journalists covering conflicts in their own countries, his answer was that the only way to know was to do further research.

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