Why collective resilience in journalism matters: A call to action in global media development

Jeannine E. Relly, Silvio Waisbord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic, global economic downturn, anti-press violence and worsen-ing situation of labour precarity for journalists around the world have led to increased stress, trauma and burnout in the profession, which raises questions at the heart of media sustainability and approaches to media development in a global context. Our study builds on the conceptual framework of professional and collective resilience research to analyse the content of media development work on publicly facing websites of a census of implement-ing organizations represented on the Center for International Media Assistance website (N = 18). Our findings suggest that donors and other sponsors of media development work should consider making resilience a core component of global programmes in support of media democracy and journalism. Though programmatic agendas in global media development are crowded with multiple goals in response to complex problems, we believe that resilience should be prioritized. This work cannot be done without a nuanced analysis of local causes of emotional distress as well as local understandings of emotional labour and repair. Working with journalists’ support organizations and employers in conduct-ing diagnoses, identifying suitable actions and promoting sustainable practices is impera-tive. Recommendations and actions need to be sensitive to local conditions, demands and opportunities. While immediate remediation actions are important, it is also important to keep attention on long-term structural matters that cause emotional distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-188
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • collective well-being
  • journalism studies
  • journalist safety
  • media assistance
  • media development
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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