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

Šimunjak, Maja ORCID logoORCID: (2022) Pride and anxiety: British journalists’ emotional labour in the Covid-19 pandemic. Journalism Studies, 23 (3) . pp. 320-337. ISSN 1461-670X [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1080/1461670X.2021.2021106)

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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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Journalist; emotional labour; pandemic; trauma reporting; newsroom; interviews
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 34466
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Studies on 31/12/2021, available online:
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Depositing User: Maja Simunjak
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 10:49
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 20:26

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