Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Journalists’ Occupational Stress: A Comparative Study between Reporting Critical Events and Domestic News

  • Susana Monteiro (a1) (a2) and Alexandra Marques-Pinto (a1)
Abstract

Nowadays, journalism is considered a stressful occupation, not only due to the stress perceived in journalists’ daily work but also due to the critical, potentially traumatic events they report. However, research on journalists’ occupational stress in both these professional settings is still scarce. This study aims to characterize and compare occupational stress variables perceived by journalists in their daily work and in critical scenarios. Taking the Holistic Model of Occupational Stress by Nelson and Simmons (2003) as a framework, 25 Portuguese journalists, all with experience in reporting critical events, were interviewed on their perceptions of some core variables of the model: occupational stressors, distress and eustress emotional reactions, and the consequences of these experiences on their well-being. Differences among these core variables, according to the number of deployments to a critical event, were statistically analysed in order to ascertain whether repeated exposure to trauma influenced journalists’ occupational stress perceptions. The data content analysis showed that occupational stressors and emotional reactions differed across settings, while the consequences associated with journalists’ experiences were perceived as being mainly negative in both occupational contexts. Significant differences were identified in some of these variables according to the number of deployments to a critical event (p < .05). These findings may contribute to a reflection on the role of media organizations in preparing and supporting journalists in their work performance, and on the promotion of occupational health within the scope of journalists’ daily work and critical events. The article closes with considerations for future studies.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Susana Monteiro. Faculty of Psychology. Lisbon University. Alameda da Universidade. 1649–013. Lisboa (Portugal). Phone: +351–966074162. E-mail: sdeus@vodafone.pt
References
Hide All
Anshel, M. K., Robertson, M., & Caputi, P. (1997). Sources of acute stress and their appraisals and reappraisals among Australian police as a function of previous experience. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70, 337356. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8325.1997.tb00653.x
Backholm, K., & Björkqvist, K. (2010). The effects of exposure to crisis on well-being of journalists: A study of crisis-related factors predicting psychological health in a sample of Finnish journalists. Media, War & Conflict, 3, 138151. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750635210368309
Backholm, K., & Björkqvist, K. (2012). Journalists’ emotional reactions after working with the Jokela school shooting incident. Media, War & Conflict, 5, 175190. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750635212440914
Brough, P. (2005). A comparative investigation of the predictors of work-related psychological well-being within police, fire and ambulance workers. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 34, 127134.
Brown, J., Fielding, J., & Grover, J. (1999). Distinguishing traumatic, vicarious and routine operational stressor exposure and attendant adverse consequences in a sample of police officers. Work & Stress, 13, 312325. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678379950019770
Buchanan, M., & Keats, P. (2011). Coping with traumatic stress in journalism: A critical ethnographic study. International Journal of Psychology, 46, 127135. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207594.2010.532799
CareerCast. (2016). The most stressful jobs of 2016. Carlsbad, CA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/most-stressful-jobs-2016
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Have a stressful job? You must have an ulcer… right? Atlanta, GA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ulcer/myth.htm
Dick, P. (2000). The social construction of the meaning of acute stressors: A qualitative study of the personal accounts of police officers using a stress counselling service. Work & Stress, 14, 226244. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678370010026422
Feinstein, A. (2004). The psychological hazards of war journalism. Nieman Reports, 58, 7576.
Feinstein, A., Owen, J., & Blair, N. (2002). A hazardous profession: War, journalists and psychopathology. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 15701575. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.159.9.1570
Flick, U. (2005). Métodos qualitativos na investigação científica [Qualitative methods in scientific research]. Lisboa, Portugal: Monitor (Original work published 2002).
Hatanaka, M., Matsui, Y. Ando, K., Inoue, K., Fukuoka, Y., Koshiro, E., & Itamura, H. (2010). Traumatic stress in Japanese broadcast journalists. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 173177. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.20496
Hart, P. M., Wearing, A. J., & Headey, B. (1995). Police stress and well-being: Integrating personality, coping and daily work experiences. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 68, 133156. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8325.1995.tb00578.x
Heloani, R. (2005). Vivendo no limite: Quem são nossos formadores de opinião? [Living on the edge: Who are our opinion formers?]. Revista USP, 65, 148168. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.2316-9036.v0i65p148-168
Maslach, C., & Schaufeli, W. B. (1993). Historical and conceptual development of burnout. In Schaufeli, W. B., Maslach, C., & Marek, T. (Eds.), Professional burnout: Recent developments in theory and research (pp. 116). London, UK: Taylor & Francis.
McCreary, D. R., & Thompson, M. M. (2006). Development of two reliable and valid measures of stressors in policing: The operational and organizational police stress questionnaires. International Journal of Stress Management, 13, 494518. https://doi.org/10.1037/1072-5245.13.4.494
Monteiro, S., Marques Pinto, A., & Roberto, M. S. (2016). Job demands, coping, and impacts of occupational stress among journalists: A systematic review. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25, 751772. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2015.1114470
Morales, R. F., Pérez, V. R., & Martinez, L. M. R. (2012). Síntomas de estrés postraumático (EPT) en periodistas Mexicanos que cubren la guerra contra el narcotráfico [Posttraumatic stress symptoms in Mexican journalists covering the war against drug trafficking]. Suma Psicológica, 19(1), 717.
Nelson, D. L., & Simmons, B. L. (2003). Health psychology and work stress: A more positive approach. In Quick, J. C. & Tetrick, L. E. (Eds.), Occupational health psychology (pp. 97119). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Novak, R. J., & Davidson, S. (2013). Journalists reporting on hazardous events: Constructing protective factors within the professional role. Traumatology, 19, 313322. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534765613481854
Osofsky, H. J., Holloway, H., & Pickett, A. (2005). War correspondents as responders: Considerations for training and clinical services. Psychiatry, 68, 283293. https://doi.org/10.1521/psyc.2005.68.3.283
Paton, D. (2006). Posttraumatic growth in disaster and emergency work. In Calhoun, L. G. & Tedeschi, R. G. (Eds.), Handbook of posttraumatic growth. Research and Practice (pp. 225247). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Pyevich, C. M., Newman, E., & Daleiden, E. (2003). The relationship among cognitive schemas, job-related traumatic exposure, and posttraumatic stress disorder in journalists. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 16, 325328. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024405716529
QSR. (2013). NVivo 10. Doncaster, Australia: QSR International Pty Ltd.
Reinardy, S. (2006). It’s gametime: The Maslach Burnout Inventory measures burnout of sports journalists. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 83, 397412.
Schaufeli, W. B., Leiter, M. P., Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1996). Maslach burnout inventory-general survey. In Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E., & Leiter, M. P. (Eds.), The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Test Manual (3rd Ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Sibbald, B. (2002). Post-traumatic stress an occupational hazard for journalists? Canadian Medical Association Journal, 166, 1704.
Simmons, B. L., & Nelson, D. L. (2001). Eustress at work: The relationship between hope and health in hospital nurses. Health Care Management Review, 26, 718. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004010-200110000-00002
Strupp, J., & Cosper, D. (2001). Dealing with disaster. Editor & Publisher, 134, 1014.
Tedeschi, R. , G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1996). The posttraumatic growth inventory: measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 455471. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.2490090305
Wallace, S. (2013). The complexities of convergence: Multiskilled journalists working in BBC regional multimedia newsrooms. The International Communication Gazette, 75(1), 99117. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748048512461764
Weidmann, A., Fehm, L., & Fydrich, T. (2008). Covering the tsunami disaster: Subsequent post-traumatic and depressive symptoms and associated social factors. Stress and Health, 24, 129135. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.1168
Weidmann, A., & Papsdorf, J. (2010). Witnessing trauma in the newsroom: Posttraumatic symptoms in television journalists exposed to violent news clips. The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 198, 264271. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181d612bf
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed