On the last day of iMEdD International Journalism Forum 2023, in a small classroom located at Piraeus 260, Ana kicked off her workshop Avoiding burnout in an always-on culture by introducing some meditation exercises. Given the early morning and the intense previous days at the Forum, this short meditation session was enough to make us realize how often we tend to neglect our own emotional wellbeing due to professional or other obligations. The question of how many of us have experienced burnout at least once in our lives was received with hesitation at first, but soon we realized that our own struggles are others’ struggles too.
According to reports from Canada, Ecuador and Spain published in 2022, “60% of journalists reported high levels of anxiety, while one out of five reported signs of depression”. Research also indicates that burnout rates are increasing every year, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to a mass phenomenon called “new epidemic”. Additionally, rising burnout rates have led to a mass exodus from the workforce, known as “The Great Resignation“. Notably, not only have journalists, among other professionals, been quitting their jobs in large numbers since the onset of the pandemic, but also, they are publicly acknowledging their decision to do so due to burnout. This openness challenges the stigma around mental health issues, which previously deterred many professionals from discussing the significant emotional and physical strain their jobs caused to them.