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September 27, 2020

8/4/2020 11:59:00 AM
Even journalists need a break
I think we can all agree that the content driving public information right now is heavy. The two major topics being discussed include living life during a pandemic, and figuring out how to dismantle systemic racism-especially in Iowa County a predominantly white community.
With the information being presented, it can be hard to ascertain the when and how to take in the information.
Or in this case, take a break from taking it in.
Being a journalist in a rural community, it can be a blessing and a curse. Hyperlocal newspapers in some ways have an advantage of breaking down national topics and bringing the focus back to a local community. There is more advantage to breaking down topics into series sessions. However just like other news outlets, there are instances where it never shuts off due to the 24/7 news cycle that journalists face daily.
With COVID-19, and racial injustice being current topics right now, reporters all over the world have become susceptible to information overload, and feelings of stress, guilt and poor mental health.
With that in mind, even news reporters need to turn the news off for a bit.
Journalists are humans just like anyone else: we have jobs, we have families, and we have activities that we enjoy. Often times, those aspects become second to our jobs as reporters. With an international pandemic affecting all walks of life, it may perhaps change how news is looked at. It is a lot to think about.
This past week, I had to make that decision and take a break. In the past, I have mentioned that I deal with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and there are times that it has gotten the best of me. Mental health in journalism has been stigmatized for quite sometime, as journalists are faced with having to "suck it up" when it comes to covering heavier topics. That mentality isn't good for anyone, and because of it being drilled into journalists, it is no wonder why mental health crisis calls are on the rise. It needs to change. In fact, mental health is a beat (term reporters use when covering specific topics) that I am considering adding to my workflow.
Journalists are humans too, and they also need their eight hours of sleep at night.

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