KARACHI: The Centre of Excellence in Journ­alism, Institute of Business Administration, has recently launched its study “Stress and Coping in Journalists: Findings of a three-year counselling service”, says a press release.

Author of the study Dr Asha Bedar along with CEJ’s director Kamal Siddiqi held a 20-minute Facebook Live session at 3pm to introduce the work. Dr Bedar is a clinical psychologist with a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and has over 18 years of experience in the field.

“This issue is not going anywhere,” said Kamal Siddiqi. “I think the challenges are mounting for journalists. The pressures are mounting. The stresses are mounting. It has nothing to do with young or old, or your medium of work… in our profession, when people reach breaking point they ask for help. I think it’s time we started looking at signs, whether in ourselves or colleagues so we can get help prior to that.”

The free confidential counselling service for media workers was launched in 2018 in collaboration with DW Akademie. Its four clinical psychologists, Dr Asha Bedar, Mahnoor Shaikh, Tabinda Afzal and Zainab Barry, have provided over 600 hourly counselling sessions to 107 journalists across Pakistan, with the majority in Karachi (90).

“We wanted to provide a snapshot, a real understanding [of the impact on their work and on them individually],” said Dr Asha, referring to the stress journalists faced.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021

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