Trauma Literacy in Global Journalism: Toward an Education Agenda
Guest Editors: Ola Ogunyemi (University of Lincoln, UK) & Lada Price (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
Journalism and Mass Communication Educator is seeking empirically grounded and theoretically focused research papers for publication in a special issue on a new pathway to an educational agenda in response to the persistent work-related problem of emotional and psychological stress in journalism practice.
Journalists are one of the first responders to traumatic events, but they are the least likely to receive training in trauma informed literacy and resilience, unlike their counterparts in the police, nursing, ambulance services and fire brigade. Trauma literacy in journalism, defined as an awareness of the potential effects of trauma and adaptive coping mechanisms, is central to the concerns raised in the UNESCO Director-General’s (2016) Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, including verified cases of killing, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists and associated media personnel.
Previous studies show that many journalists are reporting either post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), associated symptoms, depression, and/or substance use while many journalists feel ill-prepared for assignments, which involve reporting on critical incidents and events that carry a risk of being traumatised. Some scholars have blamed journalism’s deep-seated objectivity norm, which is central to journalism education and the ‘macho’ views to be found in some newsrooms, as one of the reasons why journalists are reluctant to talk about the emotional and psychological effects of exposure to traumatic events on their health and wellbeing. Studies show that journalism students are also ill-equipped to deal with their own emotional reactions and to assess what they experience from an ethical perspective.
This special issue is well-positioned to examine the awareness of trauma among journalism educators and the various experiences of teaching, learning and/or barriers to teaching trauma and emotional literacy, and resilience. We also seek the perspectives of practicing journalists on coping strategies and/or newsroom support that may have pedagogical relevance through research or practice-based manuscripts.
Founded in about 1945, JMCE is the largest, highest circulation, and oldest of any scholarly journal in the world devoted to education in journalism, public relations, advertising, mass communication, media studies and related fields.
Research papers for this issue will be peer-reviewed and may cover any aspect of journalism and mass communication education related to teaching students about how to cope with trauma journalism and how to prepare them for traumatic experiences that may occur in their future careers as practicing journalists. Manuscripts must adhere to the guidelines established for JMCE submissions and must be research or practice based. Topics of interest for this issue may include, but are not limited to addressing questions such as:
- What are journalism educators’ levels of awareness of the dangers to personal adjustment and physical health posed by prolonged exposure to traumatic events?
- How does teaching trauma informed literacy challenge the normative assumptions around objectivity and detachment, considered core skills of journalism and storytelling?
- Do journalism educators have the skills and capacity to train students to cope with the effects of exposure to traumatic events?
- What are journalism trainers’ and educators’ experiences of teaching trauma informed literacy?
- How should/can journalism educators overcome the barriers to including trauma informed literacy in journalism curricula?
- To what extent can teaching trauma build resilience in journalism students?
- How do students or trainee journalists learn to cope with trauma journalism and how are they prepared?
- To what extent has evidence of trauma in journalism practice informed journalism pedagogy?
- What can journalism educators learn from trauma informed literacy in the newsroom?
- What best practices exist in journalism pedagogy to improve and embed emotional resilience and mental health/wellbeing among journalism students/trainees?
Submit here through the journal online portal: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/jmc