Psychological Trauma Is A Major Risk When Reporting the News
With tragedies and disasters dominating media coverage nationwide, what impact does frequent exposure to traumatic events have on people covering the news, as well as those who watch or read it?
Journalists are often among the first responders to any situation of public interest – reporting on accidents, natural catastrophes and other breaking news. For reporters covering crime, warzones and other sensitive situations, long-term psychological distress can be an occupational hazard.
How is political polarization influencing hostility toward and trust of the media? A gunman opened fire in a Maryland newsroom earlier this summer. How are journalists dealing with increased threats and aggression toward the news media?
How are changes in the American news ecosystem affecting the audience? In what ways can journalists and news consumers handle vicarious trauma?
- Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at Columbia Journalism School
- Dr. Frank Ochberg, leading trauma psychiatrist, clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and former associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health
- Nicole Schilit, journalist assistance program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists
- Alexei Wood, freelance journalist currently on creative hiatus