Special Issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator (JMCE)

Call for Papers

Trauma Literacy in Global Journalism: Toward an Education Agenda
Guest Editors: Ola Ogunyemi (University of Lincoln, UK) & Lada Price (Sheffield Hallam
University, UK)
Journalism and Mass Communication Educator is seeking empirically grounded and
theoretically focused research papers for publication in a special issue on a new pathway to an educational agenda in response to the persistent work-related problem of emotional and psychological stress in journalism practice.
Journalists are one of the first responders to traumatic events, but they are the least likely to receive training in trauma informed literacy and resilience, unlike their counterparts in the police, nursing, ambulance services and fire brigade. Trauma literacy in journalism, defined as an awareness of the potential effects of trauma and adaptive coping mechanisms, is central to the concerns raised in the UNESCO Director-General’s (2016) Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, including verified cases of killing, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists and associated media personnel.
Previous studies show that many journalists are reporting either post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), associated symptoms, depression, and/or substance use while many journalists feel ill-prepared for assignments which involve reporting on critical incidents and events that carry a risk of being traumatised. Some scholars have blamed journalism’s deep-seated objectivity norm, which is central to journalism education and the ‘macho’ views to be found in some newsrooms, as one of the reasons why journalists are reluctant to talk about the emotional and psychological effects of exposure to traumatic events on their health and wellbeing. Studies show that journalism students are also ill-equipped to deal with their own emotional reactions and to assess what they experience from an ethical perspective.
This special issue is well-positioned to examine the awareness of trauma among journalism educators and the various experiences of teaching, learning and/or barriers to teaching trauma and emotional literacy and resilience. We also seek the perspectives of practicing journalists on coping strategies and/or newsroom support that may have pedagogical relevance through research or practice based manuscripts.
Founded in about 1945, JMCE is the largest, highest circulation, and oldest of any scholarly journal in the world devoted to education in journalism, public relations, advertising, mass communication, media studies and related fields.
Research papers for this issue will be peer-reviewed and may cover any aspect of journalism and mass communication education related to teaching students about how to cope with trauma journalism and how to prepare them for traumatic experiences that may occur in their future careers as practicing journalists. Manuscripts must adhere to the guidelines established for JMCE submissions and must be research-based. Topics of interest for this issue may include, but are not limited to addressing questions such as:
• What is journalism educators’ level of awareness of the dangers to personal
adjustment and physical health posed by prolonged exposure to traumatic events?
• How does teaching trauma informed literacy challenge the normative assumptions
around objectivity and detachment, considered core skills of journalism and
• Do journalism educators have the skills and capacity to train students to cope with the
effects of exposure to traumatic events?
• What are journalism trainers and educators’ experiences of teaching trauma informed
• How should/can journalism educators overcome the barriers to including trauma
informed literacy in journalism curricula?
• To what extent can teaching trauma build resilience in journalism students?
• How do students or trainee journalists learn to cope with trauma journalism and how
are they prepared?
• To what extent has evidence of trauma in journalism practice informed journalism
• What can journalism educators learn from trauma informed literacy in the newsroom?
• What best practices exist in journalism pedagogy to improve and embed emotional
resilience and mental health/wellbeing among journalism students/trainees?

SUBMIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT ONLINE AT: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jmce Papers must be received by September 1, 2022 for full consideration. We looking for up to 7000 words including references for an academic paper. Question may be directed to the editors of the special issue Oogunyemi@lincoln.ac.uk or lada.price@shu.ac.uk

Endorsement from UNESCO Chief

“We are really happy that this network is strengthening in the area of journalism and trauma education and can be even more connected with the work of UNESCO, the work of the academic conference, and more important than that, the work of safety of journalists that is coordinated under the United Nations system by UNESCO.  What this network is trying to do is very important and you have really the full support of UNESCO and lets keep the dialog going to understand how this connection of this network with UNESCO work under the UN plan of action on safety of journalists and the issue of impunity can move forward, can be fostered, and enhanced in the near future” (Mr Guilherme Canela, Chief, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Section for UNESCO and was formerly the Communication and Information Regional Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNESCO).

Conference Programme

JETREG 2021 Virtual Conference


Safe Space for Journalists and Journalism Educators to talk about Trauma Informed Literacy.


Funder: BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant 2021.


Day 1: Thursday 18th Nov, 2021.

Trauma Awareness and Challenges to Teaching Trauma

Time  Themed Sessions  Speakers  Moderators 
9.30hrs – 9.50hrs Welcome address  HoC; HoD; LIAS; Director of CCMS, SHU  Ola Ogunyemi
9.50hrs – 10.00hrs Guest Speaker UNESCO – Guilherme Canela Lada Price
10.00hrs – 10.35hrs  Overview of JETREG Ola Ogunyemi/Lada Price
10.35hrs – 12.00hrs









Trauma Reporting DART Centre, Europe (Gavin Rees & Stephen Jukes)


Jo Healey

click name to see bionote



         Lada Price
12.00hrs – 12.30hrs Break  Break  Break 
12.30hrs –13.30hrs


13.30hrs – 14.30hrs



RRH Asia Panel (Archana Kumari; Mohammad Sahid Ullah)


RRH Africa Panel (Dele Odunlami; QASIM O. AKINRETI)


Q & A 

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Ola Ogunyemi
14.30hrs – 14.40hrs Break  Break  Break
14.40hrs – 15.40hrs









15.40hrs – 16.40hrs

RRH North America Panel – “Trauma snapshot: Journalism in the time of Covid and political unrest in North America.”

Desiree Hill

Kim Walsh-Childers

Micah Wilson is a multi-skilled journalist/reporter with 5NEWS;

Tamara Cherry is a trauma researcher, victim advocate and communications consultant

Naseem Miller is a senior health editor at The Journalist’s Resource.



Natalie Hughes, News director at KFOR-TV. (USA) with Q&A



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click name to see bionote

Lada Price











Desiree Hill

16.40hrs– 17.00hrs Closing business
End End  End End


Day 2: Friday 19th Nov, 2021.

Charting a Pedagogical Approach to Teaching Trauma in Journalism Education

 Time  Activity  Speakers  Moderators 
9.30hrs – 10.00hrs Networking, tea/coffee
10.00hrs – 11.30hrs Invited journalists Leona O’Neill,

Northern Ireland.

Amy Fenton, Reach plc.

Mr. Guna Raj Luitel Editor-in-Chief, Nagarik, Nepal.

Ms. Gagani Weerakoon Deputy Editor, Ceylon Today Newspaper, SriLanka.

Manuja Veerappa, Senior Journalist, Times of India.

Hannah Storm
11.30hrs – 12.30hrs








12.30hrs – 12.45hrs

Breakout rooms (Focus group Session 1) – Awareness of trauma and guidelines to teach trauma informed literacy. 


See FGD Guide



Journalists and journalism educators














RRH Leads/LP








12.45hrs – 13.10hrs

Guest Speaker Guy Berger


Lada Price
13.100hrs – 13.40hrs









FDG 1 Feedback Journalists and journalism educators RRH Leads/Ola Ogunyemi
13.40hrs – 13.50hrs Break  Break  Break
13.50hrs – 14.50hrs







Breakout rooms (Focus group Session 2) –   ​Content of trauma informed literacy


See FGD Guide

journalists and journalism educators RRH Leads/Lada Price
14.50hrs – 15.10hrs Break  Break  Break
15.10hrs – 16.10hrs FDG Feedback 2

Other Business – JEREG conference 2022 (EoI to host)

Impact case study –

RRHs to explore

proposing Syndicate

or Panel to Research

Associations ie




(participants’ feedback sheet via email)

RRH Leads/Ola Ogunyemi
End  End  End  End 


Virtual Conference on Journalism Education and Trauma

Safe Space for Journalists and Journalism Educators to talk about Trauma Informed Literacy.

Organiser: Journalism Education and Trauma Research Group (JETREG)

Host Institutions: School of English and Journalism, University of Lincoln, UK and Journalism Subject group at the Media, Arts and Communications Department, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Funder: BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant 2021.

Guest Speakers – Representatives of UNESCO; The Dart Centre Europe; Trauma Reporting Ltd; Journalists from all world regions represented in JETREG’s regional research hubs. (Names tbc)

Date: Thursday18th and Friday 19th November, 2021.

Time: 9.30hrs to 16.30hrs.


Trauma literacy is an unmet objective in the UNESCO’s Safety of Journalists’ policy agenda. Since 2007, the Safety of Journalists’ agenda covers a range of issues from violence, conflict, physical and online abuse, harassment and impunity but overlooks journalists’ emotional and psychological responses to exposure to traumatic events. This is a pertinent research enquiry because scholarly studies consistently conclude that journalists who regularly cover accidents, natural disasters, crime, cases of rape and child abuse are susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and persistent fear. It is noted that reporters are often ill-prepared to cope with the consequences of covering these assignments and there is still some stigma attached to the conversations about mental health in journalism and high burnout rates among media workers.

JETREG aims to bridge gaps in research by working towards the development of a professional development course (PDC) to enhance journalism educators’ expertise and confidence to teach trauma; a trauma informed literacy module for journalism students;  and by conducting further research to enhance our understanding of work-related trauma and coping strategies in journalism practice. Trauma literacy is defined ‘as an awareness of the potential effects of trauma and adaptive coping mechanisms’ (Seely, 2020).

The Safe Space event organised by JETREG and its growing international network, brings together journalists and journalism educators to develop a common understanding of trauma informed literacy and how it can be embedded in teaching and professional practice. Moreover, the Safe Space event aims to engage with other stakeholders in the debate such as UNESCO, global media organisations, international NGOs and to overcome the stigma around the topic.

The Safe Space event is open to anyone who has an interest in these educational challenges.

Day 1 – Trauma Awareness and Challenges to Teaching Trauma: will feature welcome talk; guest speakers; presentation by the conveners; presentations from the regional research hubs; and Q&A session.

Day 2 Charting a Pedagogical Approach to Teaching Trauma in Journalism Education: will feature focus group discussions between journalists and journalism educators about the content of a guidelines, trauma informed literacy PDC and module; plans for publication and JEREG’s next conference.


If you would like to attend or for more enquiry, please contact Ola Ogunyemi oogunyemi@lincoln.ac.uk or Lada Price lada.price@shu.ac.uk

JETREG Steering Committee: Ola Ogunyemi, Lada Price, Roderick Orner, Stephen Jukes, Jo Healey.

Regional Research Hubs: Desiree Hill/Kim Walsh-Childers (North America); Archana Kumari/Mohammad Sahid Ullah (South Asia); Dele Odunlami/Qasim Akinreti (Sub-Saharan Africa); Marijana Markovikj/Eleonora Serafimovska (Western Europe); Karen Neill (Australia/Oceania).

Research Assistant – Kyra White

Project Website: https://jetreg.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/about-jetreg/

Regional Research Hub

JETREG set up the above to capture the cultural nuances of journalists’ emotional and psychological responses to exposure to traumatic events.

I welcome the principal leads and co-leads that have been appointed to coordinate this important project in their region. There is more information about the purpose of the RRH and the names of the leads in the  About JETREG’ page.


Journalism Education and Trauma Research Group (JETREG) is based at the University of Lincoln, UK, and has membership from journalism scholars and practitioners from universities across the world.

We were brought together by our shared concern about a possible failure of duty of care by journalism educators in not offering opportunities to journalism students to develop skills which may reduce risk to their personal and professional wellbeing.

Evidence shows that an increasing number of journalists are disclosing personal histories of work-related emotional, professional and social adjustment difficulties including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other reactions evoked by what they have been exposed to.

For any enquiries, or if you wish to join the network and find out more about our work, please contact Ola Ogunyemi, the JETREG, network convenor via oogunyemi@lincoln.ac.uk  or Lada Price via lada.price@shu.ac.uk