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Title: The experience of members of the British media, reporting on hazardous events overseas and the way they manage : developing new views
Author: Novak, Rosemary Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 4162
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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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 journalists. 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 manage. 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 involved. 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 considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available