Natural disasters, mass shootings, war crimes and now a global pandemic. As a journalist, you’re often on the frontlines, reporting on some of the world’s most critical events. This can take a toll on your mental health.
In the midst of hostile political environments around the world — ones that increasingly seek to vilify the media — journalists have the added stress of defending their work from attacks by those in power, while fearing for their online, and offline, safety. All this, while watching established papers lay off large numbers of reporters, underscoring the industry’s uncertain future.
That’s a lot to deal with.
It’s no wonder that reporting in today’s world can take a toll on journalists’ mental health. This may include anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and burnout. Many of us have been conditioned to think we should “just get through it,” without paying attention to our wellbeing.
At 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT on April 2, the International Journalists' Network will host a webinar on reporting on trauma and journalist self care. The panelists will include Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University; and Sherry Ricchiardi, Ph.D., co-author of ICFJ's Disaster and Crisis Coverage guide and international media trainer who has worked with journalists around the world on conflict reporting, trauma and safety issues.
Shapiro and Ricchiardi will offer a briefing on trauma and journalism, introducing best practices in coverage (i.e. effective interviewing of traumatized or highly vulnerable sources, effective reporting approaches to sensitive topics) and the basics of self-care and collegial support (i.e. the impact of covering trauma and tragedy, exposure to toxic imagery and harassment, and techniques for self-care). There will be plenty of time for Q&A.