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Pocket Guide to Trauma Prevention ‘For Journalists’

  • Date : 2022-12-05
  • Hit : 3366

Pocket Guide to Trauma Prevention ‘For Journalists’

기자에게 알리는 트라우마 예방을 위한 포켓가이드

Nov 30, 2022

Disaster Trauma

Trauma is a traumatic and overwhelming experience that exceeds the level that a person's body and mind can handle, and disaster is one of the major causes of trauma. Safety must be the first priority of disaster response. Disaster victims, news readers and on-site journalists' safety and prevention of trauma should be considered during disaster reporting.

Disaster Reporting Guidelines for Trauma Prevention


1. Press companies should provide training at least once a year in order to minimize trauma caused by disaster reports.

2. Reporters should actively collect information about the disaster sites, and their press companies should check whether the reporter is in stable health conditions to cover on-site.


1. Start the interview after checking the physical and psychological state of the disaster victim.

2. The voluntary consent of the disaster victim should be obtained before the interview.

3. Understand the unusual situation which the disaster victim is in and maintain empathetic attitude.

4. Press companies should pay attention to the reporter's physical and psychological safety and take steps to prevent and respond to trauma of the reporter.


1. Respect should be given to the privacy and dignity of disaster victims and their families.

2. Refrain from reporting that may leave a stigma or negative impression on the disaster victim.

3. Be careful not to include expressions or materials that may increase psychological suffering.

4. Reporting on the recovery and the restoration efforts of the disaster victims, disaster workers and local community can promote social integration and community growth.

5. Introduce information or contents on social support services such as disaster mental health services support when reporting.

Trauma Prevention Guideline

Suggestions by reporting phase to prevent trauma




- Receive sufficient disaster-related training and safety equipment from your company.

- Check whether you are in an appropriate state for disaster coverage and consult with the company if necessary.

- Physical and mental health conditions should be checked beforehand the coverage. adjust your personal schedules, and prepare necessities before going to the disaster site.


- Maintain your regular sleep, meals, and exercise as much as possible while staying for the disaster coverage.

- Keep in touch with your family members, friends, and colleagues.

- Try to recognize stress signs and cope with your stress in a healthy way.

- Be careful not to immerse yourself excessively to a disaster victim or disaster situations beyond your scope of work.

- Continue to share work-related problems and your physical and mental health with the company to receive the right support immediately.


- Take some time away from work before fully returning your life to normal.

- Stress reactions may occur immediately after the coverage, but if psychological difficulties continue for more than 3 to 4 weeks after returning, it is recommended to seek help from mental health experts.

- Request legal and administrative support from the company for problems related to hate comments and threats, and support each other with colleagues.

Checklist before Visiting a Disaster Site

Use the following checklist to reduce stress caused by environmental changes at disaster sites and adapt quickly.




Physical / Psychological

Abnormal signs/symptoms:

Family care

I informed my family / friend of the business trip duration and contact numbers.

Family care

I have arranged care for my family pet in need.

Personal items

Clothing , toiletries/sanitary products

Emergency medicine , prescription medicine

Cash/card , ID card , equipment for recreation


Personal schedule

(Training, get-together, event, hospital appointment, etc.)

Home preparation

Regular services

(Suspend/apply for automatic transfer service for delivery of newspaper, milk, packages, or mail)

House tidying , trash (food waste) removal

Safety check

(Gas , electricity , AC/heater door (front door/window)

Reporting safety

PPE training and prepartion

Health check for yourself and colleagues

Accomodation / transportation / emergency contact

Behavioral Guidelines and Expressions for Safe Interviews

Behavioral guidelines for safe interviews

- Show you are actively listening with proper responses and gestures.

- Be brief and to the point with a calm tone and demeanor while communicating.

- Pay attention to the feelings and thoughts of your interviewee and show empathy.

- Recognize how strong and well the interviewee manage the situation and give encouragement.

- Check the psychological state of the interviewee during/after the interview.

- Refrain from asking for repetition or elaboration against the interviewee’s wish.

- Don’t be a judge and define or overlook what your interviewee did or felt.

- Avoid jargon and negative expressions about the disaster situation.

- Do not present false information.

- Do not make promises you cannot keep.

Expressions for a safe interview

- “You must have been very scared.”

- “Am I right if I understand what you just said?”

- “Of course, you could be upset in that situation.”
“I understand how embarrassed you felt.”

- “You kept calm/acted safely in such a situation.”

- “Is it okay with you to keep going?”

- “What would be helpful?” “We can take a break and continue.”

- “I know how you feel.”

- “I think it is an unbearable pain.”

- “Some people have a harder time.”

- “You know worse things can happen at sea.”

- “Still, someone else survived.”

- “You will be better sooner or later.”

- “Someday you'll find real meaning in this.

- “Look on the bright side. /You have to overcome.”

- “Think about your family and hang in there.”

Stress Management Techniques

Stress-relieving activities

1. Reschedule your working hours reasonably to keep your energy flowing. Set breaks regularly and plan what you do during those times in advance.

2. Engage in creative activities (writing, painting, singing, etc.) to release your emotions.

3. Making a list of what you have accomplished throughout the day, even if it is the smallest thing, helps you feel in control of your work.

4. Keep a regular sleep schedule and refrain from using smartphone don't drink alcohol or caffeine before going to bed.

5. Make a list of things to be thankful for in your life at the end of the day. Thinking of grateful things strengthens resilience.

Abdominal breathing helps to stabilize the body and mind by lowering physical tension in stressful situations.

Stay in a comfortable position, with one hand on the belly and the other on the chest.

Breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds so that your stomach moves out, causing your hand to rise.

Hold your breath for three seconds.

Breathe out slowly for five seconds so that your stomach moves in.

Hold your breath for three seconds before starting breathing again.


The Maeum Program app teaches how to release anxiety and stress with various stabilization techniques.

How to Install Maeum Program App

- Find the app and become a member to fully use the program

National Center for Disaster and Trauma website: https://nct.go.kr

National Center for Disaster and Trauma Kakao Channel: https://pf.kakao.com/_lKgbxb

//For inquiries contact Media Relations, Ministry of Health and Welfare

044-202-2047 or fairytale@korea.kr

Supervision: Hyun Jinhee, Ph.D. (Professor, Dept. of Social Welfare, Daegu University; Secretary, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies)

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