It has been a really difficult few weeks in the news cycle. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has dominated headlines, and whether you are on the ground or reporting from your newsroom, this can be an emotionally challenging news story to cover.
While war is an obviously traumatic event, it is also important to remember that journalists around the world are covering this news story on top of, and after, two years of a global pandemic - itself incredibly upsetting and mentally draining to cover.
In this week's podcast, we speak to trauma therapist Olivia James, who is an expert on how journalists can experience trauma and vicarious trauma as a result of their reporting. That is to say, that witnessing repeated death and destruction - even through a screen, being close to crossfire if on the ground, or talking to people whose lives have been uprooted, can exact a heavy toll on journalists.
So what can be done about it? James shares with us the early warning signs of trauma, as well as techniques that you can use wherever you are to help in the moment, plus some aftercare tips to help you wind down after a tough shift.
It is important to know that the advice in this podcast does not offer a cure, but rather explores types of trauma and a few techniques that can provide relief when needed most. If you think you may be suffering from either trauma or vicarious trauma, you should seek advice from a GP or specialist therapist.
For more resources:
- Headlines Network (mental health workshops)
- Rory Peck Trust (funds, programmes and training in hostile environments)
- Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma (guides, clinical advice and published works)
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