Kent State Professor Researches Trauma in Journalists

Feb 15, 2018

Gretchen Dworznik says most journalism schools don't prepare young journalists for the stress of covering trauma
Credit KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

During tragedies like this week's Florida school shooting, most people aren’t concerned with the mental well-being of journalists covering the events — not even the reporters themselves.

Kent State professor Gretchen Dworznik, a former broadcast reporter, knows that first-hand and says that's what drew her to researching trauma in journalists.

“When I got out of television and I went back to grad school, I knew that... was something that I wanted to look into because I knew I was feeling different because of having talked to so many people who had experienced trauma: victims, family members. I knew it was affecting me, and I kind of wanted to see if that was something that was only me.”

Dworznik says recognizing their emotions can help young journalists minimize the negative effects of covering violence. According to her recently published report, most journalism schools don’t have solid plans to prepare students for covering violent or stressful events.