Spring 2018 CCI Research Colloquium to Discuss PTSD in Journalists from Hurricane Harvey

Gretchen Dworznik, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will present her research on Friday, April 20, as part of the Spring 2018 College of Communication and Information (CCI) Research Colloquium.


Dworznik will present her research titled, “Hurricane Harvey: PTSD in Journalists” at 2:15 p.m. in Rm. 158 Taylor Hall. She will discuss her study of posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and depression in journalists who covered Hurricane Harvey, which hit southeast Texas in September of last year. The hurricane was devastating, not because of the winds, but because of the unexpected torrential rains which inundated areas that were not expecting to be impacted by the storm.


Dworznik interviewed and surveyed 30 television and newspaper journalists from five of the hardest hit cities in southeast Texas. She will share the results from the quantitative survey that measured symptoms of PTSD and depression and how various media outlets responded to the psychological and emotional needs of their reporters, many of whom were dealing with damage to or loss of their homes, while also trying to cover the story.


“The more we understand how journalists can be affected by their work, the better training and interventions we can create to prepare journalists for their work and help them recover from particularly difficult stories,” Dworznik said. “Better training and support services can help keep journalists working well in the field and hopefully decrease the numbers of good journalists leaving the profession because of the unrecognized psychological damage caused by their jobs.”


The presentation is free and open to the public. The colloquium series provides an opportunity for faculty, students, staff and affiliates to foster intellectual and collaborative discussions, and stay informed about current CCI research efforts.

POSTED: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 10:12am
UPDATED: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 3:34pm
Mikala Lugen