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Exploring the use of emotional labour by journalists reporting on genocide : the cases of Rwanda and Srebrenica.

Knight, Caitlin M. (2017) Exploring the use of emotional labour by journalists reporting on genocide : the cases of Rwanda and Srebrenica. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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The current research takes a sociological approach to the study of journalism to explore the complex emotional work carried out by journalists as they report. Previous research has demonstrated various aspects of the distinct culture of journalism, including the embedded maintenance of certain ideals, such as objectivity and emotional detachment. However, detailed examination of the professional ideals of the journalists themselves reveals an area wrought with complexities and contradictions, where what is expected of journalists in their job role may be challenged by the actual emotional experiences they endure. The present research explores these complexities in order to understand how journalists might manage their emotions and how this management relates to the wider professional and organisational expectations placed upon them. To do this, it centres on journalists that reported during genocide because of the extremely emotive nature of this event. The present research therefore takes a qualitative, case study approach employing two case studies of genocide (Rwanda and Srebrenica) as a lens through which to understand the emotionality associated with reporting. Specifically, it combines interviews with journalists that reported during either genocide alongside a discourse analysis of UK news reporting of these events. Findings reveal the vital part that emotional labour played for journalists in managing their emotions both during and after their reporting. These journalists performed emotional labour in distinct, multi-faceted, and sometimes contradictory ways. In seeking to make greater sense of this emotional work, the current research elaborates a typology of the different kinds of emotional labour performed by journalists. By examining how journalists experienced the act of reporting amidst genocide specifically, it is possible to see how these complexities are amplified in extreme situations. However, this template also allows the potential for future research on the emotional experiences of journalists that may also report in other situations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : Journalism, genocide, journalists, Rwanda, Srebrenica, emotions, emotional labour, reporting
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Knight, Caitlin M.
Date : 28 April 2017
Funders : N/A
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Paul, Michael
Depositing User : Caitlin Knight
Date Deposited : 05 May 2017 08:55
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 19:13

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