‘"Where does the line go? When can I get angry?" Journalists handling hostility and emotions’



Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Popis Research shows that emotional labour is often part of journalists' decision-making in the news creation process and when dealing with attacks, insults or harassment – hostility. Emotional labour could lead journalists to self-censorship or problems with mental health because of not recognising and dealing with emotions. Our research aims to provide more insight into journalists’ decisions behind using emotional labour when handling hostility. We carried out 17 semi-structured interviews with news journalists in Estonia from June 2021 to December 2021. They all (10 female, seven male) worked for either print or converged newsrooms. Because of the delicate and specific nature of the topic, we used snowball sampling. The interviews took around 45 to 60 minutes; 15 took place online, two offline. We carried out thematic analysis on the data. The results showed that although abusive communication is a part of journalists' everyday work-life (e.g., comments on social media, comments' section, e-mails), there is a lack of strategy to approach it. The primary method is to shut down all emotions. It is encouraged by the overall attitude in the newsroom, which is carried by the "thick skin" rhetoric and encouragement that "the journalists must be doing something right if they are attacked". It also juxtaposes: it is considered a success if the job evokes reactions (attacks), yet, it is encouraged in the newsroom not to take the responses seriously, creating a reckless attitude among journalists and false premises of safety. Emotional labour encouraged by the professional community and colleagues in the newsroom led one reporter to ask: "How much longer do I have to be the public punching bag? Where does the line go? When can I get angry?"

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