Feinstein & Starr Release Study on Covering Conflict in Syria

Psychiatrist and trauma researcher Anthony Feinstein (author of "Journalists Under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War") and journalist Stephen Starr have released the results of the only controlled study to date on the effects of trauma on journalists covering the conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of 63 reporters and media workers since 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The study was conducted with the help of researchers from the University of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Below are some of its key findings:

  • 20% of journalists polled had no insurance of any kind while covering the conflict in Syria. 
  • 40% of reporters covering Syria are women – an almost 100% increase from Feinstein’s previous study of journalists covering Iraq (2003). 
  • Depression levels for reporters covering Syria have increased considerably when compared with journalists covering other recent conflicts.
  • For 20% of journalists polled, Syria was their first experience covering conflict.
  • Interestingly, almost 44% of those polled ranked Iraq as the most dangerous conflict they have covered, with Syria second, at 27%. 
  • Almost 5% of participants said they had been injured in Syria and a similar figure reported having been taken hostage while inside the country. 
  • 59% have not received any kind of professional counseling.
  • Other results included that more than 18% said they had used cocaine in the past, while 32% said they had a colleague killed in Syria.

Click here to read more about this study in an article written by Stephen Starr for The National.