News Journalists and Postruamatic Stress Disorder: a Review of Literature, 2011-2020

Raymond B Flannery
Psychiatric Quarterly 2021 April 10
Research has demonstrated that first responders may develop psychological trauma/ posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the performance of their duties. Often overlooked in these studies of police, firefighters, and paramedics is an additional group of providers who also respond to these same events: news journalists and photo journalists. Although limited in scope, the research literature from 1980 to 2010 assessed an association between PTSD and some news journalists. The strength of these findings are limited due to serious methodological limitations. The present paper reviewed the journalist/PTSD literature from 2011 to 2020. There were 4558 subjects in 23 studies, which were world-wide in scope. There were 2633 male reporters (58%) and 1925 female journalists (42%). The average age of subjects was 34.37 years and the average length of experience was 10.68 years. Many reported either PTSD, PTSD symptoms, depression, and/or substance use. A detailed methodological critique is presented.

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