Crisis as Emotional Labour in the News. Assessing the Trauma Frame During the Economic and the Pandemic Crisis

Ioannis Angelou, Anastasia Katsaounidou, Lambrini Papadopoulou


This study focuses on the way(s) that the economic and the pandemic crisis were covered by media outlets and aims to research whether journalists’ own feelings and experiences of covering both these traumatic events were depicted in their news articles. Drawing on Semetko and Valkenburg’s (2000) set of five generic frames this study focuses on Greece, a country that has been severely hit by both these crises and brings together theories about journalism as emotional labour that defy the prevailing notion of the distant and neutral observers. Moving one step further, this study argues that journalists convey their source’s emotions, but in some cases, they also reveal their own feelings through their news articles. Findings suggest that apart from the already documented frames, (i.e., attribution of responsibility, conflict, human interest, economic consequences, and morality), journalists used the trauma frame, a notion we use to refer to news articles that essentially reflect and reveal journalists’ own emotions. This finding refutes the traditional understanding of quality journalistic discourse as one stripped of emotional expression and opens new pathways for research.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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