The Experience of Members of the British Media, Reporting on Hazardous Events Overseas and the Way They Manage: Developing New Views.

Prof Doc Thesis

Novak, Rosemary Julia 2008. The Experience of Members of the British Media, Reporting on Hazardous Events Overseas and the Way They Manage: Developing New Views. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsNovak, Rosemary Julia
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There has been increasing recognition of members of the media as responders
to hazardous events. Studies exploring trauma exposure amongst members of
the media have supported the notion that reporting on distressing events may
impact on psychological well-being.
Trauma discourses rarely recognise opportunities for positive change resulting
from human suffering and do not account for the possibility of posttraumatic
growth. There has been little consideration of such concepts in research with
This qualitative study aimed to develop an in-depth understanding of the
experience of ten members of the media, who covered hazardous events outside
of mainland Britain. Semi-structured interviews explored journalists' experiences,
their beliefs about what they do, their coping strategies and their psychological
resilience and growth. Research questions focussed on how journalists coped
with their experiences and common factors they identified in facilitating how they
Five categories were constructed through a grounded theory analysis:
professional role, perception and understanding of events, reactions, ways of
managing and role of others. Developing New Views emerged as a superordinate
category. A model was constructed illustrating the dynamic processes
The findings suggested that journalists' appraisals of events were fundamental to
their experiences and were influenced by cultural, historical and personal
contexts. Connecting to the professional role appeared to mitigate becoming
emotionally overwhelmed by a response to hazardous events. The journalists
reported experiencing stronger reactions when connected to the events through personal involvement, or through similarities between themselves, their families
and the hazardous situation or people involved.
The results are assessed in light of existing literature, with a view to widening the
lens applied to trauma, resilience, and post traumatic growth. The implications of
these findings for journalists working in a competitive news industry are
discussed. The limitations of this study and suggestions for further research are

Publication dates
Print12 May 2008
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Jun 2014
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