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Description - Nonverbal Neutrality of Broadcasters Covering Crisis: Not Just What You Say But How You Say It by Danielle Deavours

Offering a critical and sensitive reflection on journalists’ nonverbal behaviors during their coverage of school shootings in the U.S., this book shows how individual- and social-level factors predict broadcasters’ nonverbal neutrality.

Nonverbal behaviors have the ability to transmit bias, influence audiences, and impact perceptions of journalists. Yet journalists report receiving little to no training on nonverbal communication, despite often being placed in emotional, chaotic situations that affect their ability to remain neutral during coverage. This book provides theoretical and methodological contributions, as well as applicable advice, to assist researchers’, instructors’, and journalists’ understandings of ongoing boundary negotiations of this rarely discussed but highly impactful aspect of objectivity. Through the proposal of the Nonverbal Neutrality Theory, it outlines predictive patterns and routines that contribute to the variability of nonverbal neutrality, and equips readers, including industry professionals and journalism educators, with examples of best practice to help better plan for crisis coverage. The work draws on journalists’ reflections on professional norms and conceptualizations of nonverbal neutrality, vicarious traumatization, and social- and organizational-level influences.

As one of the first to explore nonverbal neutrality, its predictive factors, and patterns across crisis events, this book provides a much-needed insight into the nonverbal behaviors of broadcast journalists at a time when the media relies ever more on visual delivery on television, digital, and social media networks.

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