Angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed: The emotional experience of consuming news about President Trump

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Abstract

The emotional experience of consuming news about politics has been traditionally understudied. We aim to contribute to filling this void through a study of the emotional responses related to encountering stories about a high-profile political topic: the first 10 months of the administration of the US President, Donald Trump. To understand this, we draw upon 71 semi-structured interviews conducted in the greater metropolitan areas of Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia between January and October 2017. Our analysis indicates that: talking about political news often was a synonym of talking about President Trump; people expressed a high level of emotionality when recalling these experiences, which were more intense on social media and among those for whom the news felt more personal; feelings of anger or distress were often tied to wanting to increase political engagement; and individuals frequently develop mechanisms to cope with high levels of emotionality.

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Wagner, M. C., & Boczkowski, P. J. (2021). Angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed: The emotional experience of consuming news about President Trump. Journalism, 22(7), 1577–1593. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884919878545

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