Trauma Amongst TV News Crews: The Protective Function of Crew Solidarity
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Past research indicates that journalists’ ongoing exposure to trauma can result in psychopathology. However, previous research has not considered whether trauma exposure and reactions differ depending on whether news workers are working individually or within a crew. The research question was as follows: What functional roles do crew relationships play in enhancing individual resilience? In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 TV news camera operators and reporters. The findings indicate that news workers emphasise the importance of the relationship amongst crewmembers in times of trauma exposure, as opposed to their own individual experiences. Working with other crewmembers simultaneously reduces physical and psychological risks and improves the quality of the journalistic product. Additionally, experienced news workers serve a vital mentoring function and also act to shield less experienced news workers from potentially stressful situations. Crew solidarity functions as a protective factor for news crewmembers exposed to trauma and other work-related stressors.
KeywordsJournalism Trauma Television news Crew solidarity Reporter Camera operator Interviews News crew Mentoring Social support Physical risk Psychological stress
We would like to thank Professor Anthony J. Saliba for his constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript and Dr. Robert Rowe for copy-editing earlier versions of the method, findings, and discussion sections.
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