Ethical Dilemmas, Guilt and Posttraumatic Stress in News Journalists

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


Most news journalists will work with a potentially traumatic assignment (PTA) at some point during their careers. For some, exposure to trauma in one’s line of work will cause negative psychological reactions, and in the worst case have a long-term impact on the journalist’s wellbeing. In this chapter, the concept of ethical dilemmas is presented. Ethical dilemmas constitute a group of risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are especially relevant for news journalists. They reflect situations during a PTA in which a journalist experiences inner conflicts between behaving like a good human being and behaving like a professional journalist. Research on how ethical dilemmas affect post-assignment guilt and PTSD severity in Nordic journalist samples is presented and discussed, as are best practices for preventing such dilemmas.

Keywords: ethical dilemmas, journalism ethics, occupational health, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), work-related guilt

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationFreedom of Expression and Media in Transition. Studies and Reflections in the Digital Age
EditorsUlla Carlsson
ISBN (Print)978-91-87957-22-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeB2 Part of a book or another research book

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