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POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS IN MEXICAN JOURNALISTS COVERING THE DRUG WAR

Keywords: Posttraumatic stress disorder , Mexican journalists , war , drug trafficking

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Abstract:

The present study obtained data on the frequency of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms from a national sample of Mexican journalists. The main objective of this exploratory and transversal study was to assess PTSD symptoms, and identify differences by gender (male/female), assignment (journalists who cover drug trafficking news/other journalists), and professional activity (reporter/photographer). The PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), and a questionnaire on sociodemographic data were used. The instruments were applied in a national context of war on drugs, in which acts of extreme violence like mass murders, beheadings and skinning are present. Results indicate that 35% of the journalists had PTSD symptoms. However, rates of PTSD symptoms in reporters who cover drug war news were significantly higher than in journalists who cover other assignments (p=.03).

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