UvU* is a working group from and for supporters of exiled and threatened media professionals
The working group, initiated by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), met for the first time in January 2020 in Leipzig. It creates a space for supporters of (potentially) traumatised journalists to exchange ideas about the special challenges they face in the context of this work. Experts from the field of psychosocial health accompany the regular meetings of the working group. In addition, funds can be made available to pay for counselling sessions. Our working language is German.
*German: Unterstützung von und für Unterstützer*innen (UvU)
The psychological challenges of media professionals
Many media professionals may be exposed to traumatic events in the course of their work. On the one hand, journalistic work itself can affect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of journalists and result in secondary traumatisation. On the other hand, the safety of media professionals is also put at risk by a variety of direct and indirect physical, legal, psychological, and digital threats, as press and media freedom deteriorates worldwide. For women, lesbian, inter*, non-binary, trans*, and agender media professionals, queer journalists, as well as journalists of colour, these attacks and their consequences can be particularly severe. Refugee journalists, journalists in exile, and those taking part in temporary relocation programmes also frequently experience racial discrimination, which increases the risk of mental illness.
Working with (potentially) traumatised media professionals
Being sensitive to individual threat situations, potential traumas, and discrimination experiences is one of the most important skills that people who support exiled and/or threatened media workers need. At the same time, working with traumatised media professionals carries the risk of secondary traumatisation. Therefore health provision and care for everyone involved is a prerequisite for the sustainable success of support services and relocation programmes. This includes individually-tailored psychosocial and psychological counselling for the media workers, as well as advice for the supporters on how they themselves can deal with these particular burdens in their everyday work.
The following organisations and individuals are currently represented in the working group (as of January 2023):