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Journalists’ mental health during the pandemic: We need to talk

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Stress, anxiety, depression, sleep and eating disorders or burnout are just some of the mental health problems that  many journalists covering the Covid-19 pandemic suffer everyday. The coronavirus pandemic has put media workers under unprecedented strain, testing their psychosocial conditions and the abilities of editors and unions to identify and support those workers with mental health conditions.

In a survey published recently by the ICMF, 70% of respondents rated the psychological and emotional impact of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis as the most difficult aspect to bear in the midst of their work. In parallel, Reuters study showed that a significant number of journalists reporting on COVID-19 show signs of anxiety and depression, while an IFJ survey revealed that over ¾ of women saw their level of stress increase during the pandemic, half of them pointing at multiple tasking as the main cause.

These figures highlight an urgent need for governments, media employers and journalists’ unions to offer mental health support to help alleviate burnout among journalists covering the pandemic or suffering the socioeconomic consequences of it. If journalists are not mentally and physically well, they cannot do good journalism.

Source: International Federation of Journalists; https://www.ifj.org/media-centre/news/detail/category/press-releases/article/journalists-mental-health-during-the-pandemic-we-need-to-talk.html

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