‘Tell the story as you'd tell it to your friends in a pub’: emotional storytelling in election reporting by BuzzFeed News and Vice News

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article analyses two digital-native news organisations, BuzzFeed News UK and Vice News (UK), and explores how they use emotional forms of storytelling in their election reporting. Drawing on a qualitative textual analysis of 280 news articles published during the 2017 UK general election, we scrutinise the textual and visual elements of emotional storytelling across three distinct groupings: (1) language and tone; (2) visual, formatting, and interaction, and (3) production and editorial choices. We argue that BuzzFeed and Vice draw on an emotional vernacular to engage with and relate to their young audience, while simultaneously providing a gateway to convey sophisticated political content. Both organisations embrace internet culture in their reporting, drawing on subjective, confessional, and personalised forms of expression that characterise communication on social media. The journalistic work required to wrap long-form, analytical election reporting in an emotive narrative provides evidence of innovative audience-orientated practice. In doing so, BuzzFeed and Vice offer election coverage that is uniquely tailored to a younger audience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Studies
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 18 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • BuzzFeed
  • election reporting
  • emotional journalism
  • emotional storytelling
  • Internet culture
  • Vice
  • young people

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