Self-care advice for journalists

Updated June 23, 2020

[For more resources available to news organizations in light of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit lenfestinstitute.org/coronavirus.]

These are challenging, uncertain times. It can be hard for journalists to make sense of how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting their own day-to-day lives, let alone the lives of community members they need to cover. 

But it’s important to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and if newsrooms want to be able to continue to serve their neighbors, they need to take care of themselves as well.

Here are some self-care resources and tips we’ve found over the past couple of weeks. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected] with any other suggestions.

  • In this 2017 ONA post, Hannah Wise, now with The New York Times, shared three tips for a community-approach to self care.
  • In addition to physical health measures, the CDC released lists of tips and links to resources for managing anxiety and stress during an outbreak
  • University of Virginia clinical psychologist Claudia Allen assembled nine tips to protect your mental health during quarantine
  • Wikimedia, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia, announced its remote work strategy, emphasizing a family-focused approach that prioritizes employee well-being.
  • Hannah Storm, director of the Ethical Journalism Network, documented ethical concerns surrounding coronavirus reporting and how journalists can take care of themselves.
  • Itching to dive into a story? Scribd is offering all ebooks and audiobooks to all for free in an effort to ease self-isolation. 
  • Despite gyms being shut down for the foreseeable future, staying active at home is not impossible! The New York Times put together some tips for at-home exercise.  
  • Astronaut Scott Kelly gives advice on self-isolation after spending almost a year alone in space from 2015-2016.
  • ELLE writer George Driver published 9 rituals to manage daily anxiety during coronavirus quarantine
  • The International Journalists’ Network is hosting a worldwide webinar on Journalists’ mental health from 1pm to 2pm EDT on April 2. It features a panel including executive director of Columbia University’s Dart Center, Bruce Shapiro, and Sherri Ricchiardi, co-author of ICFJ’s Disaster and Crisis Coverage Guide
  • The Carter Center’s Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. collected resources on mental health management and self-care for both journalists and the general public
  • Healthy habits are paramount while self isolating. The Philadelphia Inquirer offers resources to stay consistent including tips for better sleep and daily stretches to relieve daily tension.
  • The networking platform Hostwriter created the Collaboration Wire to connect editors and journalists around the world who are looking for work due to the coronavirus-related lockdowns. 
  • The nonprofit Cortico created a guide to leading Zoom conversations with community members through virtual events and online engagement.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

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