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IJNotes: An IJNet podcast
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IJNotes: An IJNet podcast

Author: IJNet

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Maybe you've read the final story, but have you ever wondered what the reporters did behind the scenes? We sit down with journalists from around the world to shine a light on the projects and initiatives they're involved with, new technologies and skills they may be utilizing, and challenges they’ve both confronted in the past, and continue to navigate today. Tune in to IJNotes, the premiere podcast from the International Journalists' Network (IJNet), a project of the International Center for Journalists.
11 Episodes
You may have heard about the groundbreaking Panama Papers investigation, which exposed how some of the most rich and powerful people around the world used offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth.Former journalist Mar Cabra played a critical role during the groundbreaking investigation, as the head of the data and research unit at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the organization that spearheaded the global collaborative effort. She and her colleagues won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting. The work, however, led Cabra to begin feeling the effects of burnout. A year after the Panama Papers investigation was published, she decided to leave her role at ICIJ to focus more on her own mental well-being. Today, she leads efforts to raise awareness of critical, under-recognized mental health issues with other journalists in today’s fast-paced news industry.Earlier this year, for instance, Cabra helped launch The Self-Investigation, a free online stress management program for journalists.In the sixth and final episode of our Mental Health and Journalism series, Cabra shares with us her personal story, insights on what a health relationship with technology looks like, and how journalists can better manage issues like stress and burnout that threaten their well-being.Support the show (
This summer, accomplished journalist and media consultant Hannah Storm published a personal story about her diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The PTSD was a result of many traumas over the years, Storm wrote: it stemmed from experiences she had when reporting internationally on crises and disasters, and sexual assaults she survived when she was a young reporter. All were in some way related to her job.While today more and more journalists, news organizations and media nonprofits begin to shine a light on the pervasiveness of violence against women journalists, there is still little discussion on how this has an impact on their mental health. In our discussion, Storm helps us bridge that gap. She discusses her  personal experience dealing with mental health issues, and offers expertise she gained while serving as the director of the International News Safety Institute, and the director and CEO of the Ethical Journalism Network, a role she holds today. Our conversation is candid, personal and full of great advice for journalists, editors and newsroom managers.Resources mentioned in the episode:ICFJ/UNESCO survey on online harassment of women journalistsDart Center for Journalism and TraumaTrollBustersIJNotes mental health and journalism podcast seriesIJNet resourcesManaging stress and digital overload as a journalistNews and mental health: What journalists should knowMental health tips and resources for journalistsMental and physical health of reporters during COVID-19Key quotes: Self-care on the frontline with Elaine MonaghanSupport the show (
This episode is the fourth in our series on mental health and journalism.Coverage of the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests that erupted around the world following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor last spring has laid bare the unique challenges Black journalists across the U.S. face in the newsroom. As Black journalists cover these deeply personal protests, they must also navigate potential repercussions like being arrested while reporting on them, as CNN reporter Oscar Jimenez was in Minneapolis. Or, they might be removed from their coverage of the protests as punishment over a controversial tweet, as was Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Alexis Johnson — while a white colleague avoided the same fate for similar expressions of opinion on his social media. Johnson’s tweet, and the subsequent action the Post-Gazette took, sparked debates about what objectivity in the newsroom really seeks to uphold. Johnson later filed a lawsuit against the paper for alleged retaliation and race discrimination.In this episode of IJNotes, we speak with Dr. Allissa Richardson, an award-winning journalism instructor at the University of Southern California, about the mental health of Black journalists as they cover the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, and what newsrooms can do to better support their Black employees. Richardson is the author of “Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones, and the New Protest #Journalism,” which explores the lives of 15 mobile journalist-activists who documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones.Support the show (
This episode is the third episode in our series on mental health and journalism.More than 5 million Venezuelans have fled their country in recent years. They’ve done so to escape violence, economic turmoil, political unrest and more. The crisis is the worst of its kind Latin America has ever experienced, former Mexico foreign minister Jorge Castañeda wrote earlier this year.Almost 2 million Venezuelan migrants have crossed the border into neighboring Colombia — more than any other country.In this episode, we speak with Jesús Mesa, a current ICFJ fellow and an international reporter with one of Colombia’s leading newspapers, El Espectador. In 2018, Jesús and his colleague, Angelica Lagos, received a fellowship from the Carter Center to report on mental health challenges facing Venezuelan migrants in Colombia today.Support the show (
This is the second episode in our series about journalism and mental health. In this episode, we interview Dean Yates, a longtime journalist whose struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) led him to become an advocate for journalists’ mental health.For more than 20 years, Dean worked in the Middle East and southeast Asia as a journalist and bureau chief for Reuters. He covered war and tragedy on numerous occasions, and since then, he has been outspoken about the way his experience impacted his mental health. We discuss PTSD, mental illness, burnout, distressing imagery and vicarious trauma and the role of newsroom leadership in caring for the mental health of their journalists. Support the show (
This episode is the first in a series on mental health and journalism.From crime scenes and road accidents to natural disasters and wars, journalists often report on the frontlines of the world’s most challenging events. Today, journalists around the world are working overtime to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. Covering these developments, whether major international stories or events much closer to home, can take a mental toll on those reporting. This can lead to issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in some cases, but more likely anxiety, stress and burnout. For journalists in the field, finding resources or someone to talk to can be difficult. To kickstart this conversation about journalists’ mental health, we spoke with Anna Mortimer, journalist, therapist and co-founder of The Mind Field, a platform that connects international development workers and journalists with therapists.Support the show (
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens more than our health, but also our freedoms.Threats to press freedom are cropping up all over the world, taking the form of physical and political attacks on journalists, the criminalization of journalists’ work, restrictions on free access to information and increased surveillance.ICFJ global director of research, Dr. Julie Posetti interviews Prof. David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Dr. Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists.This episode is part of the ICFJ and IJNet Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum.Support the show (
Journalists are tasked with telling the truth, but sometimes it comes with a cost. Paolo Borrometi, a Sicilian investigative journalist, knows this cost all too well. When his reporting on the Italian mafia made him a target, he was forced to uproot his life. Years later, he still lives under 24/7 police protection, often confined to his own home. However, Borrometi is undeterred. He continues to report for his own news website, La Spia, and TV2000. He also serves as the president of Articolo 21, an association dedicated to freedom of expression, and the deputy director of AGI, the Italian Journalistic Agency.  Borrometi visited our offices when he was in the U.S. accepting the 2019 Peter Mackler Award for courageous and ethical journalism. Listen to the latest IJNotes podcast to hear our interview about his work, the attacks he’s endured, life under protection — and meeting the Pope.Support the show (
In episode three of IJNotes, we interview Maya Srikrishnan, an immigration reporter for Voice of San Diego. Srikrishnan is one of the International Center for Journalists 2019 Bringing Home the World Fellows. As part of the fellowship, she traveled to San Pedro Sula, Honduras on a reporting trip.In this episode, she shares the challenges, discoveries and lessons she learned covering the other side of immigration.Support the show (
We sat down with Ruth Betz, the head of digital transformation at Funke Mediengruppe, one of Germany’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers. Betz oversees the print to digital conversion of Funke Mediengruppe’s news outlets, working to ensure they adopt sustainable business models as they transform from print to digital-first publications. Support the show (
On our first episode, we sat down with Jacopo Ottaviani, a Pan-African ICFJ Knight Fellow who works at Code for Africa as its Chief Data Officer, helping newsrooms on the continent create data desks and use data more efficiently in their reporting.Support the show (
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