Pride and anxiety: British journalists’ emotional labour in the Covid-19 pandemic

Article


Simunjak, M. 2022. Pride and anxiety: British journalists’ emotional labour in the Covid-19 pandemic. Journalism Studies. 23 (3), pp. 320-337. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2021.2021106
TypeArticle
TitlePride and anxiety: British journalists’ emotional labour in the Covid-19 pandemic
AuthorsSimunjak, M.
Abstract

This study aims to identify and explore forms of emotional labour, i.e., efforts to manage emotions which labourers perceive as experiencing in their work life, that British political journalists experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and the perceived consequences of this labour. It is argued the examination of journalists’ emotional labour matters as it can impact journalists’ workplace wellbeing and mental health, but also work commitment and quality of journalism. In order to answer the research question, qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 British journalists covering politics in the spring of 2021. The findings indicate that journalists experienced a range of negative emotions working in the pandemic, with anxiety and frustration being among the most commonly reported ones, but also important was the feeling of pride in their work. The inability to access established, albeit informal, support systems, tied primarily to a physical newsroom space, but also other socialisation spaces, such as working on location, removed opportunities for emotion management and induced new, and often persistent, emotions of anxiety, frustration, loneliness and nervousness related to work.

KeywordsJournalist; emotional labour; pandemic; trauma reporting; newsroom; interviews
LanguageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalJournalism Studies
ISSN1461-670X
Electronic1469-9699
Publication dates
Online31 Dec 2021
Print17 Feb 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Jan 2022
Accepted15 Dec 2021
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Studies on 31/12/2021, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1461670X.2021.2021106.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2021.2021106
Web of Science identifierWOS:000736819400001
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