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.
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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).
In conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dart Centre Asia Pacific presents a new teaching video dealing with the treatment of news sources, "Getting it Right: Ethical Reporting on People Affected by Trauma." The project was developed to supplement teaching materials for journalism educators. Click here for a version with Chinese subtitles.
Sacramento State Hornet student journalists were among the first to arrive at the scene where a California State University, Sacramento, student was beaten to death and his alleged assailant was shot by police. In this video produced by photojournalist Brian Feulner, four editors recall their actions and reactions in covering the tragic event.