In a special two-part episode, we cover the broad topic of journalists and mental health. In part one, we look at how reporting on traumatic events affects journalists. We discuss the various ways a journalist’s resilience can be tested, the support networks available, and how we can prepare ourselves for covering distressing stories.
It includes a discussion with four journalists who have all reported on traumatic events.
This podcast was produced by LINDSEY GREEN and KERRYN HILDEBRAND. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimina Lyall reported for The Australian for 11 years as a national reporter and foreign correspondent. She reported on events that continue to haunt the nation, including the Port Arthur massacre. But covering the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 changed her life. Out of The Blue: Facing the Tsunami is a memoir on her experience reporting on this century’s most catastrophic natural disaster. Lyall is now Australian Unity’s group executive for corporate development after a successful 15-year career as a journalist.
Jocelyn Suiter studied journalism in Adelaide from 1982-85 and completed her cadetship at The NT News in Darwin in 1986. She worked at the Warrnambool Standard and The Sun in Melbourne before being involved in a serious road accident, which changed the way she thought about trauma. In 2000, she completed a Master of Communications at RMIT and wrote a thesis on how traumatic stories affect journalists. She has worked at the Herald & Weekly Times for 25 years and is a news producer at the Herald Sun.
Anna Harcourt is the editor of Esperanto, Monash University’s quarterly student magazine, and co-produces the podcast It’s A Match. This year she wrote an investigative story on women facing homelessness when they flee domestic violence. A nightmare scenario unfolded when she came face-to-face with one of the abusers. She has since questioned if she really wants to be a journalist.
Tiffany Korssen is Master of Journalism student who was shortlisted for the Melbourne Press Club’s 2014 Student Journalist of the Year award. She is currently an editorial assistant at the Herald Sun where she has reported on a range of interesting events, including the Nepal earthquake.
Lindsey Green – @LindsJGreen
Lindsey Green is a third-year journalism student at Monash. She has been volunteering at volunteer radio station SYN for more han a year, where she has been involved in music and news and current affairs programs and now co-hosts/produces a show about online dating called It’s A Match on SYN Nation. Lindsey recommends listening to All The Best – a collaborative podcast between SYN, Triple R, FBi in Sydney and 4ZZZ in Brisbane.
Kerryn Hildebrand – @kerrynemh
Kerryn Hildebrand is a third-year journalism student at Monash. She is interested in feature and long-form writing and loves a good glossy magazine. Kerryn has interests in pretty much anything but highly recommends Reveal – a show developed by the Centre for Investigative Reporting as well as other shows Criminal and Ted Radio Hour.
Content warning: We discuss suicide and domestic violence in this episode. Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit your local headspace centre, which can be found here.