72,4% of Ukrainian journalists feel hopeful and believe in our victory – IMI survey
72.4% of surveyed Ukrainian journalists feel hopeful and believe in Ukraine's victory. Unfortunately, 13.2% of respondents also reported feeling depressed and even hopeless.
These are the findings of an anonymous quantitative online survey conducted by the Institute of Mass Information on December 12–26, 2022, using the questionnaire method.
Furthermore, 90% of Ukrainian media workers are experiencing stress, which is 7% less than in August 2022, when 97% of journalists whom the IMI interviewed reported some symptoms of stress, which may also indicate depression.
Interestingly, the journalists who took part in the IMI survey also noted the following experiences:
- 42.1% feel that they do not have the right or time to rest now, when there is work to be done – one may say that stress and anxiety manifest in this way. The same amount of respondents (42.1%) indicated that they feel constant fatigue.
- A slightly lower percent of respondents (36.4%) said that they have become more alert, mobilized and focused, which can also be attributed to the increase in anxiety and stress due to the war.
- 33.8% feel irritable.
- 32.4% of respondents reported sleeping issues, changes in sleep schedule, waking up in the middle of the night, etc.
- 32% of respondents find it hard to concentrate (for example, when reading or watching videos).
Experiences During the Full-Scale War. Survey period: December 12—26, 2022. Survey answered by 228 journalists from all oblasts of Ukraine. I feel hopeful and believe in our victory (72,4%); I feel that I have no right or time to rest now, when there is work to be done (42,1%); I feel constant fatigue (42,1%); I feel alert, mobilized, focused (36,4%); I feel irritable (33,8%); I have sleeping issues, wake up in the middle of the night, my sleep schedule has changed (32,4%); I find it hard to concentrate (32,0%); I drink alcohol or smoke more than usual (18,4%); I feel I am letting myself and others down (causeless lack of responsibility) (18,0%); Increased physical pain in a certain body part (headache, heart issues, etc) (17,9%); Constant overeating or lack of appetite (15,8%); I feel depressed/hopeless (13,2%); I have experienced flashbacks or nightmares (11,4%); I believe the world would be better without me or want to harm myself (2,6%). *The answers do not make up 100% when added together, since the participants could choose several options.
We also asked the Ukrainian media workers what exactly helps them to resist stress and cope with these difficult times. It turned out that the primary source of comfort and support was family (loved ones, children, pets) – this was mentioned by 47.8% of the interviewed journalists. Hobbies (including new hobbies such as volunteering and donating to the UAF) ranked second – 31.3%. Spending time with friends, both online and in real life, came third (26.3%).
What Helps You Cope Mentally? Survey period: December 12—26, 2022. Survey answered by 228 journalists from all oblasts of Ukraine. Family (47,8%): family, children, pets help me unwind and cope. Hobbies (31,3%): my hobby helps me cope, including new hobbies – volunteering and donating to the UAF. Spending time with friends (26,3%): I talk to my friends and colleagues online or in real life more. I work/study more (22,8%); Rest (20,1%); I read/listen/watch mental health podcasts or videos (19,3%); Alcohol or tabacco (17,5%); I do nothing... (15,8%); Therapy (7,4%); Sports (2,5%); Seeing a therapist, taking medication (2,1%). *The answers do not make up 100% when added together, since the participants could choose several options.
At the same time, the IMI survey shows that only 2.1% of the interviewed journalists are seeing a therapist or taking any medication.
*The survey included an item about emotional experiences. This item was included in order to understand what psychological difficulties journalists are facing in the course of their work. The respondents were asked to tell whether they had experienced certain emotional states from a list of depression indicators used by the American Psychiatric Association and the British National Health Service. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, says that a person who experiences five or more symptoms from this list may be depressed. While we cannot use this survey's findings for diagnosis, we may use them for trainings, workshops, to provide the community of journalists and freelancers with sufficient knowledge for identifying important indicators to monitor one's own mental state and to raise awareness of psychological trauma.
**The research was conducted via a quantitative anonymous online survey based on a simple random sample of potential respondents – journalists and editors. A total of 229 responses by media workers from all regions of Ukraine were received. Of them, 64.9% of respondents were women, 35.1% were men. The maximum error is 5%. The study was conducted on December 12–26, 2022.
***The answers do not make up 100% when added together, since the participants could choose several options.
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