Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

August E. Grant


Much like first responders, journalists run toward dangerous scenes instead of away from them, often putting themselves at risk. Unlike first responders, there is no research on a how a person’s risk propensity ties to their career. For this project, reporters of various ages and tenures were surveyed on their sensation-seeking levels and propensity to engage in risky behaviors while working as journalists. Journalism risk propensity correlated positively with sensation seeking. Risk motivations increase with age and tenure, meaning that older and more experienced journalists are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Males are more risk-prone than females. The research, which was conducted among journalists in the Southeast, indicates that hurricane news coverage yields the most positive correlations with sensation seeking, age, and tenure.


© 2023, Ellen Katherine Dunn