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You need a thick skin in this game: Journalists’ attitudes to resilience training as a strategy for combatting online violence

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In recent years, resilience training has been recommended as a way to protect news workers from the impact of reporting on traumatic events. However, do journalists see it as a useful tool in dealing with online abuse and harassment? This article explores Australian journalists’ conceptions of resilience training, via a thematic analysis of interviews, and their concerns about its effectiveness in addressing digital violence. The study adopts an ethics of care framework for understanding the uses of resilience training in journalism education for increasing dialogic interaction with audiences. It finds that while some journalists understand resilience training’s relationship to positive mental health, the majority are not clear about its potential and how it might be taught. Our analysis also reveals normative beliefs about journalists’ need to develop ‘a thick skin’ against interpersonal and coordinated violence online. Overall, the article raises questions about how journalists might be better oriented to not only self-care but also collective care.
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Keywords: dialogic interaction; digital journalism; ethics of care; gendered violence; news commenting; online violence; resilience training; trauma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 000000041936834XThe University of Sydney 2: 0000000102380260Dublin City University

Publication date: June 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Australian Journalism Review publishes articles on a broad range of perspectives relating to journalism research, practice and education. Its emphasis is on original theoretical, empirical and applied research, but it also provides opportunities to canvass perspectives on current debates on research, practice and education through commentary pieces on specific topics.

    This double-blind peer-reviewed journal is published twice annually, with the second edition each year focused primarily on a theme and supplemented by a small selection of broader-ranging papers.

    Prospective guest editor submissions on themes for future editions are always welcome. While many of Australian Journalism Review's submitting authors are based within the Australia-Pacific region, the journal welcomes scholarship from around the world and extending into broader media and communication topics of relevance to journalism.

    The journal incorporates a regular section highlighting the work of early career researchers, particularly current or recent higher degree by research students, as well as book reviews focusing on recent additions to the journalism, media and communications publishing landscape.

    AJR is the journal of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.

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