In episode 229 of The Just Checking In Podcast we checked in with conflict journalist, Andy Hayward.

Andy currently works as a freelance journalist and has previously worked for VICE News in their international team producing news pieces and documentaries.

Andy also previously worked on VICE’s flagship, Emmy Award-winning show VICE News Tonight on HBO.

We came across Andy through friend of the pod Jake Hanrahan who interviewed him on his podcast Popular Front about an upcoming documentary he has produced within Russia called ‘Warped by War: Inside Putin’s Russia’.

The film covers the suppression of the Russian regime of public dissent against the war in Ukraine, speaks to the family members of Russian soldiers who are currently serving and those who have been killed.

In this episode we discuss the film in-depth through a mental health lens, his previous films he has done in Russia and Belarus and his wider journey in conflict journalism.

For industry issues, we discuss work-life balance and the responsibility he feels as a journalist to capture the stories of those who speak out against the regime but not put their lives in danger.

For Andy’s mental health, we discuss the importance of having positive relationships in your life as a release valve from the day-to-day of conflict journalism, the stress and paranoia that come with working in a repressive country like Russia and how that bleeds out into his personal life.

We finish by discussing his family’s military background and how that’s shaped his attitude towards mental health.

As always, #itsokaytovent

You can find links to watch all of Andy’s films we discussed on the podcast in full below:

You can follow Andy on social media below:

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Music: PatawawaStrange


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