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Article / Professionalizing Emotions as Reflective Engagement in Emerging Forms of Journalism

The Journalism Studies journal published an article by Mojca Pajnik on the professionalisation of emotions in the media. The author analyses how journalists articulate emotions as “special effects” with the potential to motivate and engage the public in the age of hybrid media. At the same time, the analysis shows the problematic use of emotions to serve only to increase commercial interest and to promote a commercial and profit-oriented model of media development.


The argument for this article rests on exploring the significance of emotions and emotion-related forms of journalism that have historically been dismissed as improper reporting and flawed journalism. So far the emerging research on emotionality in the media, marking the so-called “affective turn” in communications, has mostly analysed emotional media performance in relation to its influences on the public. This article complements the existing research by exploring journalists’ own views and narrations on emotions with the aim of unravelling emotionality as a vital emerging journalistic practice in a hybrid media environment. Results of semi-structured interviews with journalists in Slovenia, where the media developed at the cross-roads of fierce commercialization and political instrumentalization, show how they craft emotionality as professional journalistic conduct, articulating emotions as “special effects” with potential for motivation and engagement, but also revealing criticism in using emotions when their only purpose is to boost a commercial interest, thus feeding the attention economy model of media development.

The article is freely available at: