The last line of defense: Journalism photo editors and mental health during times of trauma
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Countless studies have been completed on the mental health of journalistic reporters and photographers after they cover traumatic events. However, no research has been done on the mental health of photo editors who must make editorial decisions for publications after looking at such images. This study aimed to uncover the effects of an intimate experience with traumatic imagery created by another individual in hopes of bringing light to an understudied population. After analyzing the recounts of seven photo editors from publications across the continental United States, it was ultimately found that photo editors experience symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress, which mimics those of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Photo editors also had a tendency of avoiding confrontation with their emotional turmoil by focusing solely on work, and that they experienced an increased sense of responsibility toward their photographers who were covering trauma. These findings can open the door to further research into STS and understudied populations of working journalists, as well as help develop training programs that may lead to a more resilient workforce.