Resources for tackling post-traumatic stress disorder in local newsrooms
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PTSD in journalism is a fairly new phenomenon. There is substantive research into how it affects individuals, however little research has been done in the areas of prevention, coping with it and what happens to journalists at the workplace. This research paper aims to bridge this gap. 10 journalists from local media organizations who were sent to Joplin to cover the tornado in 2011 were interviewed for this study. They spoke confidentially about their experiences in Joplin and whether their employers offered any counseling programs for those who needed treatment. Upon completion of the study, it was concluded that two employers offered mandatory counseling programs for its employees. Some offered counseling trough Employee Assistance Program or EAP, although they did not always advertise that fact. Instead, some individuals relied on other employees or family for coping. In addition, only one individual who participated in this research had any knowledge about the DART center, a resource for journalists and trauma. Also, journalists obtained little if any preparation for dealing with trauma during their college education. The results show that there is a clear gap in the awareness, resources available at work place and educating young college graduates about on the job risks.