One healthcare reporter who currently works at a national outlet and has repeatedly broken exclusive stories this year told me she began taking an antidepressant over the past year for the first time in her life, in large part due to the stress of covering the pandemic.
“We’re being traumatized by the pandemic and then retraumatized by reporting on it and talking to healthcare workers,” she said. “I remember someone telling me that the reason they were talking to me was because they were afraid people would die if they didn’t. That just really hit me in a way that it hadn’t before: People could literally die if we did our jobs wrong.”
That weight has been profoundly felt by reporters at some of the most widely read outlets in the country.
It’s pretty clear most political reporters, especially those who focus on ‘who won the day’, do not treat their jobs with the same level of seriousness, even though the policy issues they cover, not to mention little things like… insurrections, can and do kill people (or injure and immiserate them).