CNN increases funding for PTSD research for journalists

MUMBAI: The global news and current affairs channel CNN is teaming up with the world’s foremost authority on PTSD in journalists, Dr Anthony Feinstein to initially fund a unique web based clinical and research facility.

CNN, which is in safety training and research into post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has announced a creation of a new site along with Dr Feinstein at the annual NewsXchange conference that took place in Istanbul Turkey on 2 November and will run till 3 November.

According to an official release, this site will be accessible to all media organizations and journalists around the world and this new website will provide a confidential and much needed self help resource for all journalists, even those who do not have access to a company supported PTSD resource. Further information as to how to access the new site will be announced shortly.

One of the innovative aspects to this service is that journalists will be able to use it while on assignment in zones of conflict. “Research over the past six years has shown that journalists and media workers assigned front-line assignments may develop symptoms of distress due to the escalating dangers confronted," said Dr Feinstein. “This new website will enable us to broaden our understanding of how journalists are responding emotionally to these challenges while also providing immediate feedback to those who are searching for answers and guidance.”

The web based program will allow journalists to complete self assessments with respect to symptoms of PTSD, depression, general psychological well being and alcohol and substance use. Immediate feedback with the option of a printout will be given to all web users. This can then be used to facilitate access to a family doctor or an Employee Assistance Program for therapy, if required. Future development of the site is to include versions in different languages.

“Dr Feinstein’s previous research has helped countless colleagues inside and outside of CNN, said CNN International MD Chris Cramer. “This is an area of staff welfare that media companies need to address, particularly in an era where the media is seen as being fair game in many parts of the world.”

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