Journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic are just as exposed to trauma risks as those covering civil war and natural disasters, according to a former reporter.
CQUniversity researcher Amantha Perera says the ongoing stress and uncertainty means journalists cannot escape the story.
“Traditionally when journalists work, even if they’re covering a war or disaster, they go and then come back home, and the shift in location creates a certain level of security,” he explained.
“Coronavirus means there is no safe place away from the front line – they’re absorbing the conflict, and the potential trauma, all the time.”
Mr Perera is no stranger to trauma in the workplace, after reporting from the frontlines of a civil war, the Boxing Day tsunami and the assassination of a close colleague.
His own experiences have led him to look out for the signs in others, particularly in the current crisis.
With many journalists now working from home, Mr Perera says the pressure on journalists to work around the clock has only increased.
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