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Fixers, Stringers, and Foreign Crews: The distribution of risks and emotions in crisis reporting

Project description

Emotional labour and precarity in conflict reporting

Mass media provide full coverage of conflicts worldwide. However, little is known about the locals working behind the scenes assisting foreign media. The EU-funded Fixers and Stringers project investigates forms of precarity experienced and emotional labour performed by mainly fixers and stringers working for foreign media in two conflict zones, Israel and Ukraine. The project will also explore the multidirectional power relationships of the journalism ecosystem, aiming to understand how power circulates among media workers within the specific conflict areas. The research is based on 30 in-depth interviews with fixers, stringers and foreign correspondents with the goal to increase our knowledge and raise awareness on media workers’ precarity and emotional labour and to contribute to more ethical global journalism.

Objective

The proposed research project seeks to understand links among the least visible actors and aspects of conflict reporting. It explores forms of precarity experienced and emotional labour performed by local newsworkers who work for foreign news crews or foreign media on the spot (fixers and stringers) and the multidirectional power relationships of the journalism ecosystem in two conflict zones, Israel and Ukraine. Based on thirty in-depth interviews with fixers, stringers, and foreign correspondents, and on their autoethnographies, the research addresses the following questions: What emotional labour do fixers and stringers in Israel and Ukraine perform? What forms of precarity do fixers and stringers in Israel and Ukraine experience? How does power circulate among fixers, stringers, and various other actors within the particular conflict newsmaking ecologies? The research interweaves three flourishing research streams and trends in journalism studies: it adds to knowledge on the diverse precarity of newswork, deepens understanding of newsworkers’ emotional labour, and helps to further de-Westernize journalism studies. The research findings will be communicated not only through academic publications, but also using a variety of creative methods that will help to reach the community of media professionals in the European Union and beyond. By raising awareness of fixers’ and stringers’ emotional labour and forms of precarity, the research project seeks to contribute to more ethical global journalism.
The fellowship will stregthen my expertise in crisis reporting, newsworkers’ emotional labour, participatory and creative methods; it will also help me to build a network of potential partners of my future applied research projects and improve my employability inside and outside academia. As such, the fellowship will significantly enhance my future career prospects.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Net EU contribution
€ 175 572,48
Address
SPUI 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Netherlands

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Region
West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 175 572,48