An overview of current research on the occupational hazards for journalists covering traumatic events, the risk factors that aggravate those effects, and some suggestions for mitigating those factors. Originally published by River Smith and Elana Newman in January, 2009; Updated by Susan Drevo in May, 2016, and by Autumn Slaughter in March, 2019.
Resources for Elana Newman, Classroom Resources
Among the many risks journalists face, they are often targets of harassment and aggression. While harassment is a concern for all journalists, female journalists in particular are more likely to be targets [Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 2011]. Despite increasing awareness of the issue, little is known about journalist-specific risk factors and consequences. Most recently updated in December 2017, this fact sheet summarizes key information about harassment of journalists. (Note: The topic of online harassment is not included in this review).
Early live reports of terrorist attacks are sometimes confusing and misleading. Yet there are also extraordinary examples of media excellence, with journalists risking their lives to inform the nation about an unfolding crisis.
Whether clinicians like it or not, children and families affected by trauma are routinely covered by the media. When that happens, clinicians often face difficult choices.
Note: Available as PDF download only.
An overview of current scholarship regarding how different, contextual approaches to reporting news influence consumers’ knowledge, perceptions and opinions, and the implications for researchers and for journalists.
An overview of current research on the short- and long-term impacts of media coverage of tragedy on children, as well as aggravating risk factors and suggestions for future research.