European Federation of Journalists

Portugal: Portuguese Union of Journalists’ initiative to help reduce risks of burnout in journalism

Credits: João Miguel Rodrigues, SJ.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the Portuguese Union of Journalists (SJ)’s project on mental health of journalists and media workers in Portugal. The initiative aims at raising awareness and helping employed and freelance journalists navigate the rising challenges of digital journalism, especially difficult in these post-pandemic times. It includes a research study, three workshops, digital trainings and a concluding conference. It is headed by SJ’s former Vice-President Isabel Nery and board member João Miguel Rodrigues.

The study: Analysing the digital journalism sector

The project kicked off in March this year with a study on journalism as a high-risk profession, focusing on the digital journalism sector. The study analysed how working online can affect the journalists’ mental health. The research ran from January to June 2022 and was done based on a sample of near to 850 journalists in Portugal. The results will be published in March 2023 and presented in Lisbon.

The workshops: Basic training needs

Three workshops have been organised. Each of these workshop aims at improving the digital skills of journalists as well as addressing the mental health challenges that can be encountered.

The first workshop, which was held online in May, answered questions on audio editing and podcasts, with storytelling advice. The workshop, that lasted a total of 12 hours divided in three sessions, included practical exercises.  

The second workshop, partly online, has started mid-October and will be completed at the end of 2023. The workshop covers the areas of digital writing, storytelling and data development, social media networks and SEO. Due to the success it has already received and high demand, the sessions will be accessible online in November. 

The third workshop, that will take place in January 2023, will focus on mental health. Psychology, law and creative writing specialists have been invited to held the sessions.

The podcast: Tackling burnout

As part of the project, a series of six podcast episodes on burnout will be launched at the beginning of 2023. Personal experiences will be shared by journalists from Portugal, and mental health specialists will share insights, advice and discuss resilience.

The conference: More to come in 2023

The concluding conference will highlight the main findings of the report.

This project is partly funded by the European Commission through the EFJ and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)’s joint project “Trade Union for a Fair Recovery“.