The NCTJ will host a free online discussion panel with industry leaders to highlight threats to journalists’ safety and the impact on their mental health and wellbeing in the week of World Mental Health Day.
Safeguarding journalists remains an important topic in the industry as safety issues – which have been exacerbated in recent years by online and social media threats – continue to affect careers and lives.
The NCTJ will host the virtual panel session so industry experts can discuss safety threats and the link to mental health issues, while sharing personal experiences and offering practical guidance.
It will take place on World Mental Health Day on Tuesday, 10 October, during which organisations across the world will highlight the global threat around health and wellbeing.
Panellists will include Kathryn Anastasi, deputy head of Talksport; Richard Duggan, Newsquest’s regional editor for the North West; Vicky Gayle, investigative journalist at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism; Lisa Bradley, course leader at the University of Sheffield; and Rachel Wood, content strategy and planning manager of Reuters Video and global co-ordinator and peer supporter of Reuters’ Peer Support Network.
Additionally, the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy – which offers development training to journalists at every stage of their careers – will host virtual training sessions for students and working journalists to expand their knowledge of key issues on safety and resilience and mental health and wellbeing.
This will include a three-hour ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Newsroom’ virtual masterclass on Wednesday, 11 October, and a one-hour ‘Safety and Resilience for Journalists’ lunch and learn on Friday, 13 October.
The discussion panel will be the third webinar held on this issue in 12 months – the first was held in November for industry professionals while a second was held for student journalists in January.
Laura Adams, head of the Journalism Skills Academy, said: “Word Mental Health Day provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the health and wellbeing of journalists across the industry.
“Safety and resilience issues have undoubtedly had an impact on people’s mental health, and in some cases, has led to talented journalists leaving their jobs and the industry.
“We hope that in reinforcing the risks, the NCTJ can continue its work in supporting the industry and NCTJ-accredited courses in preparing working and student journalists for the realities of working in the profession.
“We look forward to seeing people from across the industry join us for the webinar on the 10 October, during which we expect to hear some fascinating insights from industry professionals.”
This comes after the NCTJ created an industry-led advisory panel last year to collaborate, share experiences and best practice, and explore ways to tackle safety and resilience issues.
The group meets twice a year and discusses a range of topics including online safety, support for freelance journalists, mental health and wellbeing, the role of technology and the importance of training for all journalists including those in leadership roles.
Following recommendations from the last advisory panel meeting, the NCTJ is set to host a safety and resilience workshop in November for journalism course leaders and tutors to support them in teaching the difficult and complex subject.
The advisory panel is chaired by Reuters’ interim global managing editor of visuals, Joanna Webster, and there are representatives from organisations including Sky News, BBC, Newsquest, National World, Iliffe Media and the Financial Times.
The Journalism Skills Academy launched a free safety and resilience e-learning training course last year which student and working journalists can access via the NCTJ’s e-learning platform.
Click here to book your place on the free discussion panel in October.
Click here to book a place on the safety and resilience tutor workshop taking place in November.