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 or Lada Price

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: