Emotion aside or emotional side? Crafting an ‘experience of involvement’ in the news

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In relation to journalism, the concept of ?emotion? is consistently undertheorized. Employed with commonsensical discernment, it is conflated with tabloid practices, sensationalism, bias, commercialization, and the like. Consequently, when discussed, emotion is often treated dismissively; a marker of unprincipled and flawed journalism. Yet hard, self-styled objective, ?just the facts? journalism is not unemotional, just as soft, so-called tabloid news is not irrational. As authors who study the sociology of emotions note, emotion has a social component and can more broadly be conceptualized as the experience of involvement. This article utilizes this understanding to interrogate traditional news dichotomies before applying this perspective to consider non-valorized news alternatives. One significant change over the past few decades is not that the news has become emotional (indeed, it has always been); rather, the diversity of emotional styles, the acceptability of journalistic involvement, and attempts to involve the audience have become more explicit.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)297-316
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this