Trauma & Stress: while working in journalism is topic for SPJ R3 conference

The Society of Professional Journalists – Region 3 & the Savannah State University Department of Journalism & Mass Communication (JMC) are providing an opportunity for honest talk on what is it is like to face trauma and ongoing stress as journalists, how to recognize when someone needs help, and to help find solutions to help these professionals and newsrooms find resilience and to persevere. 

The conference, “Trauma & Stress: while working in journalism,” will be held in Savannah, Georgia, on March 9, 2019, at the Coastal Georgia Center from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Visit the conference website at

Look at the statistics for southeastern U.S.

Did you know that during the past three years, more than anywhere in the United States, journalists and newsrooms in the southeast, (SPJ Region 3) have faced more mass shootings and natural disasters than anywhere else in the country?

And journalists and newsrooms need to talk about how these traumas and also the long-term stress of working in shrinking newsrooms and in an unpredictable journalism job market. How are these emotion stresses affecting their work lives, personal lives, their human psyche and bodies?

REGISTER HERE NOW! Early bird specials until Jan. 31

What are journalists talking about?

  • Psychological, emotional and behavioral effects of covering a disaster, breaking news or losing a job
  • PTSD and other mental health issues, including depression due to work-related stress
  • Impediments, including stigma, to talking with peers or seeking professional help
  • Signs of traumatic stress and when someone needs help
  • Help from newsroom leadership and peer support when a colleague dies while working in journalism

What the conference will talk about:

  • Emotional, psychological and behavior effects of direct and indirect exposure to work-related stress and traumatic events
  • Changes that occur in the body when exposure to traumatic stress and what to do about those changes
  • Ongoing stress of working in today’s newsrooms and worry related to the unpredictable media industry
  • Deconstructing sigma attached to journalists asking for help and ways to eliminate it
  • Ways newsrooms leaders and colleagues can be proactive in providing resources for journalists when help is needed
  • Resources available for treating mental health problems due to work-stress and exposure to traumatic events; vicarious trauma included
  • Conversations about ways journalists and newsrooms build resilience for and persevere when faced with trauma and ongoing issues
  • Conversations about what journalists have faced when covering traumatic events/work-related stress and hear how others have recovered, or not recovered

Speakers and Panelists

SPJ Region 3 and Savannah State JMC have a lineup of national, regional and local journalists and news leaders to talk about these important topics and also address the stigma of asking for help, and let each journalist know that they are not alone.

Nick Valencia

Keynote Speaker: CNN’s Nick ValenciaNational reporter

Dr. Pamela Dorsett, Clinicial Psychologist and freelance journalist; Rod Hicks, Journalists On Call, Society of Professional Journalists and more. Read Dr. Dorsett article in about trauma and stress by linking HERE.

Panelists include Kris Allred, Chief Meteorologist, WSAV, Savannah, Ga., Jamie Arnold, Chief Meteorologist, WMBF, Grand Strand, Pee Dee areas, South Carolina; Lee Brown, Assistant News Director, WYFF, Greenville, South Carolina; Tom Lewis, News Director, WMBB, Panama City, Florida; Susan Catron, Executive Editor, Savannah Morning News, Savannah, Georgia; and many more.

Want more detailed information? Link HERE or go to

REGISTER HERE TODAY! Early bird specials until Jan. 31