"Angry, Frustrated, and Overwhelmed: The Emotional Experience of Consuming News about President Trump." Journalism, 2019.

María Celeste Wagner and Pablo J. Boczkowski

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.