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Traumatized Journalists

At least a decade after police, firefighters, paramedics, and soldiers recognized the prevalence of job-related stress injury, journalists began to acknowledge that they face considerable mental health risks. Reporters and news photographers are resilient, and most are employed far from the exigencies of military combat, the mean streets of inner cities, and the impact zones of catastrophic disaster. Nevertheless, few will escape exposure to traumatic stress during a long career, whether covering traffic accidents, home fires, or violent crime. Nearly all will have at least one experience interviewing grieving families soon after a loved one dies a sudden and unnatural death. Recent studies document that a majority of journalists report some on-the-job exposure to traumatic events. This includes interviewing survivors or photographing scenes involving profound ...

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