Information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD for journalists on PTSD and the potential for journalists to experience PTSD in the wake of traumatic experiences while reporting.
Resources for PTSD & Mental Health
A tip sheet from Executive Director Bruce Shapiro, originally released at the 2005 Investigative Reporters & Editors Annual Conference.
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.
This provocative three-part series examines the concept of moral injury, a phenomenon where combat or operational experiences transgress deeply held moral and ethical beliefs that undergird a service member’s humanity; often seen as damage to the soul. Judges praised the series for “gracefully and confidently marrying the humanity and understanding of its survivors with a gritty, powerful investigation that breaks new ground.” Originally published in the Huffington Post in March 2014.
Ochberg Fellow Dave Philipps and Dart Award Honorable Mention recipient Thomas James Brennan co-wrote a front page article for the New York Times about U.S. veterans, disenchanted with civilian life, who are returning to Iraq to volunteer to fight the Islamic State.
Psychologist Anthony Feinstein examines a confluence of factors that can undermine the emotional well-being of journalists, including the emergence of new threats in Syria, the relentless nature of the conflict and those predominantly tasked with covering it. This piece was originally published in The Globe and Mail.
Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, has been recognized with the 2014 Public Advocacy Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) for his “outstanding and fundamental contributions to the social understanding of trauma.”