The refugee crisis saw many journalists confronted with trauma and hypocrisy on their home turf. Professor Anthony Feinstein discusses his latest work on the effects on those involved and their wider relevance.
« In 2016, the renowned psychiatrist Anthony Feinstein was approached by Hannah Storm, director of the International News Safety Institute. She was concerned at some of the personal accounts she was hearing from journalists working on what was then known as Europe’s refugee crisis.
Feinstein pioneered the study of the effects of conflict reporting on the psychological well-being of journalists. Storm wanted him to conduct a new study looking at the impact of the refugee crisis on those covering it.
A professor at the University of Toronto, Feinstein’s previous work with reporters was turned into the documentary “Journalists Under Fire” which was short-listed for an Academy Award and won a 2012 Peabody Award.
The South African-born professor helped to broaden the understanding of the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and front-line reporting. But in the case of the refugee crisis, he was curious about the role that a less well-understood condition, “moral injury,” might be playing.
A concept familiar to the U.S. and other militaries involved in Iraq, the condition would prove to be prevalent among the journalists working on refugee stories who took part in the survey.
The resulting study, co-authored by Hannah Storm and Bennis Pavisian, was published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Here, Feinstein discusses his findings and their wider relevance. » (…)
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