Emotion in Journalism

The relationship between journalism and emotion has always been fraught and never more so than in today’s social media environment of fake news and polarized opinion. On the one hand, deeply embedded normative values of Anglo-American journalism that can be traced back to the second half of the 19th century dictate an ideal of detachment, fact-based journalism, and impartiality, concepts often grouped together as an objectivity paradigm. On the other hand, journalism is a contest for attention, and every reporter and editor knows that without raw emotion, readers and viewers will find their stories boring. This is the fundamental tension between journalism and emotion that lies at the heart of the profession.

For much of the 20th century, the objectivity paradigm prevailed and withstood challenges from ...

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