The grim news cycle and the isolation of lockdown are taking their toll on journalists' mental health. Three quarters of journalists have reported feelings of lockdown-related stress, according to an international survey by freelance journalist John Crowley.
True, the pandemic experience has been different for everyone. One journalist who has found lockdown particularly stressful is Tom Hourigan, a senior journalist for BBC News. Hourigan lives with health anxiety, which means he fixates on health scares and his mind will not rest until a true diagnosis is given.
Inspired to support journalists during the pandemic, he set up Newsbreak, a website for journalists to write freely about their mental health. It has encouraged staff at Sky News, Reach plc and Global radio amongst others to pen their own experiences. A handful of journalists took this opportunity and opened up about their feelings of burnout and inability to stop 'doomscrolling' on Twitter.
In this week's podcast, Hourigan talks about these contributions that inspired some newsrooms to start making changes. As many organisations are planning to keep some level of virtual working even after the lockdown, Hourigan sounds the alarm for leaders not to forget about the staff at home.
Journalists' mental health matters. pic.twitter.com/QjdwjI53Bi— newsbreak (@takeanewsbreak) January 17, 2021