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Press photographer takes picture as Palestinian protestor throws tear gas canister
Press photographer takes picture as Palestinian protestor throws tear gas canister

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Journalism is Stressful Work. Here Are Resources for Reporters Coping with Trauma

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Dr. Elana Newman, research director for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, and Naseem S. Miller, senior health editor for The Journalist’s Resource, assembled a list of resources for coping with trauma as part of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference in June 2021. Here are their recommendations.


  • Self-Care Tips for News Media (The Dart Center): These tips are offered as suggestions only, to assist in fostering healthier newsrooms and better journalism. They are based on research findings on well-being and resilience and the practical experience of news professionals in the field.
  • Safety and Self-Care Strategies for Every Beat (The Dart Center): Video, where a panel introduced safety, security, and self-care strategies that should be in every reporter’s toolkit, for assignments ranging from neighborhood beats to disasters, mass shootings, and investigative projects.
  • Mindfulness Training for Journalists (The Dart Center): On September 10, 2015, the Dart Center hosted a special half-day workshop on mindfulness practice, led by teachers from the monastic community founded by poet, author, and activist Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • Chair Yoga for Journalists (The Dart Center): This 11 minute chair yoga by former foreign correspondent Kimina Lyall, deputy director of the Dart Centre Asia Pacific is for media practitioners working at their desks or working from home. You do not need to be a yoga practitioner.
  • How journalists can take care of themselves while covering trauma (The Poynter Institute): Journalists can’t properly cover trauma if they’re suffering themselves — here’s a guide to self-care.
  • Under Pressure: Coping with stress, and knowing you’re not alone: A tip sheet compiled by Ken Armstrong, senior reporter at ProPublica.
  • 6 tips for protecting your mental health when reporting on trauma (International Journalists’ Network): These techniques may help journalists build [their] own resiliency and learn how to report sensibly on trauma-related issues.

Getting Help

Apps and Online Tools for Self-care

  • Insight Timer: A free library of thousands of guided meditations.
  • PTSD Coach: Developed by the [US Veterans Affairs department], the app provides education about PTSD, information about professional care, self assessment and tools to manage stresses of daily life with PTSD.
  • Mindfulness Coach: Developed by the VA, the app has been shown to be effective in reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, and helping with anxiety and depression.
  • Insomnia Coach: Developed by the VA, the app is based on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.
  • COVID Coach: Developed by the VA, the app supports self-care and overall mental health during the pandemic.
  • Provider Resilience: The app is designed to help users to stay emotionally healthy while remaining productive. Although it’s designed for healthcare providers, it can be useful for journalists.

Resources for Managers


  • Online Abuse: A Self-Defence Guide (The Dart Center): Online abuse and harassment come in many forms, from borderline incivility all the way up to systematic attacks that are engineered to inflict real psychological harm. This guide offers some thoughts on managing their potential impact.
  • Maintaining Boundaries with Sources, Colleagues & Supervisors (The Dart Center): This tip sheet, drawing on interviews with nine leading women in journalism and other sources, offers strategies for recognizing, mitigating, and addressing sexual harassment and other predatory behavior while reporting.

How Our Work Affects Us

  • Covering Trauma: Impact on Journalists (The Dart Center): 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.
  • How journalists’ jobs affect their mental health: a research roundup (The Journalist’s Resource): Journalists report on complex and difficult topics, including natural disasters, political violence, and human suffering. These summarized studies that look at how occupational stress affects journalists’ mental health.
  • Journalists are under stress. What’s the solution? (The Journalist’s Resource): A large body of research shows how journalists’ jobs can pose a risk to their mental health. Based on that body of research, these are tips on preventing and addressing the stress and trauma of reporting the news.
  • News managers are traumatized, too (Radio Television Digital News Association): Terror attacks, natural disasters, and other deadly events send shockwaves of trauma throughout newsrooms and entire organizations. Managers can feel guilt, regret, and secondary stress reactions when the journalists they manage suffer from traumatic events.

Other Resources

This is a reprint of the original resource list published by the Columbia Journalism School’s Dart Center for Journalism and TraumaIt is republished here with permission. 

Additional Resources

GIJN Webinar Resources: Resilience & Reporting—Staying Healthy & Sane

How Journalists Can Deal With Trauma While Reporting on COVID-19

How Reporters Can Flatten the Stress Curve While Covering the Pandemic

Elana Newman profile image

Elana Newman is a professor of psychology at the University of Tulsa and research director for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. She is past president of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies and co-editor of “Trauma Therapy in Context: The Science and Craft of Evidence-based Practice.”

Naseem S. Miller is the senior health editor at The Journalist’s Resource. She covered the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting for the Orlando Sentinel and helped start the Journalists Covering Trauma Facebook group to provide professional and emotional support to reporters who cover tragic events.

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