Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, most media coverage has focused on the ongoing physical health disaster and the need to convince readers and elected officials to take action. But the coverage is also a chronic source of trauma. Now that there is some good news interspersed with the tragedy, we struggle to find a balance.
Dr. Alison Holman is a health psychologist and professor at the University of California Irvine’s Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, whose work focuses on exposure to traumatic events such as Ebola outbreaks, the Boston Marathon bombing, and, most recently, covid-19. On this week’s Kicker, Holman joins Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, to discuss journalism’s impact on readers’ mental health, and why traumatic coverage can fail to motivate change.
The many anniversaries of the start of the pandemic, Jon Allsop, CJR
What has journalism learned from the pandemic?, Amanda Darrach, CJR