Contextualizing Psychological Outcomes for TV News Journalists: Role Differences in Industry Culture, Organizational Hierarchy and Trauma Exposure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research indicates that TV news journalists’ ongoing exposure to trauma can result in psychopathology. However, we currently know little about potential differences in trauma exposure between individuals in varying journalistic roles. The aim of this study is to contextualize the existing knowledge of psychological outcomes for TV news journalists and to complement current deductive trends in literature by asking: How do TV news journalists of differing roles and responsibilities experience unique factors that ultimately influence their trauma exposure? Individuals in journalistic roles that experience differences in their exposure to trauma compared to other roles, may be at risk of elevated psychopathology or in need of greater support to prevent distress. A social constructivist approach was adopted and in-depth interviews were conducted with 21 Australian TV news camera-operators and reporters. Analysis was conducted according to a systematic and transparent thematic analysis. The findings suggest that TV news camera operators and reporters experience differences in: (1) experiences of industry culture within organizational hierarchy, (2) role expectations of physical proximity to trauma, and (3) social visibility during trauma exposure. By considering role-based differences, this study recommends resources and support necessary for reporters and camera operators. The present findings inform news organizations providing support for their staff, and news consumers of the circumstances under which news workers perform roles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Constructivist Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2020

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