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The impact of online trauma threats faced by journalists: The case of COVID-19-imposed remote-working regimes

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posted on 2022-11-15, 04:02 authored by Amantha PereraAmantha Perera
Abstract The global reach of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its sustained infection and fatality rates from the first quarter of 2020, has deeply affected the majority of journalists across the world, who now find themselves working on stories of trauma linked to the pandemic from remote locations and under restrictive working conditions. These COVID-19-enforced working conditions have exponentially increased the exposure levels of online trauma threats faced by journalists. This research examines the confluence of online trauma threats and their manifestations and impacts, along with mitigative measures some journalists took to ease the impact of this confluence. The research is guided by the central question: ‘How are journalists experiencing and responding to online trauma threats they face in the line of work during and ‘post’ COVID-19 lockdowns?’ The research utilises three distinct yet interrelated methods: an online survey; in-depth, semi-structured interviews; and narrative case studies in the form of feature-length journalism. Thematic analysis of the survey and interviews provides a framework for the works of journalism, which are situated in broader contexts of the journalism profession and online trauma reporting. Responding to the increase in online trauma threat activity exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the research points towards potential transformations within the profession that might assist journalists to continue undertaking their important role in and for society.



Central Queensland University

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Elizabeth Ellison ; Associate Professor Sue Joseph ; Professor Craig Batty

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Research Thesis

Thesis Format

  • Traditional

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