About

The project

Mass media provide full coverage of conflicts worldwide. However, little is known about the locals working behind the scenes assisting foreign media. This EU-funded Fixers and Stringers project coordinated by the University of Amsterdam investigates forms of precarity experienced and emotional labour performed by mainly fixers and stringers working for foreign media in Israel/Palestine and Ukraine. The project also explores 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 in-depth interviews with fixers, local producers, stringers, and foreign reporters. Its goal is to increase our knowledge and raise awareness on media workers’ precarity and emotional labour and to contribute to more ethical global journalism. The research is conducted by Johana Kotisova and supervised by Mark Deuze.

This website is a place where you can find the latest project-related updates, but also a venue where fixers, producers, stringers, and other reporters can publish their stories.

The researcher

Johana Kotisova works as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam. Before joining UvA, she worked as Assistant Professor at Masaryk University. She has a background in social anthropology, media studies, and holds a double PhD degree in Sociology from the University of Liège and Masaryk University. Her first book Crisis Reporters, Emotions, and Technology: An Ethnography (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019; open access) explores European crisis reporters’ emotional labor and professional ideology. Her current interests include crisis and conflict reporting, newsworkers’ emotional labor, applied research, and creative research methods.

Apart from that, Johana loves hiking in the mountains, running in the lowlands, and playing the piano.

Johana’s recent papers:

Kotisova J and Waschková Císařová L (2021) “I Know Which Devil I Write For”: Two Types of Autonomy Among Czech Journalists Remaining in and Leaving the Prime Minister’s Newspapers. The International Journal of Press/Politics. Epub ahead of print 12 October 2021. DOI: 10.1177/19401612211045229.

Deuze M, Kotisova J, Newlands G and Van’t Hof E (2020) Toward a Theory of Atypical Media Work and Social Hope. Artha Journal of Social Sciences 19(3): 1–20. DOI: 10.12724/ajss.54.1.

Kotisova J (2020) An Elixir of Life? Emotional Labour in Cultural Journalism. Journalism. Epub ahead of print 28 April 2020. DOI: 10.1177/1464884920917289.

Kotisova J (2020) When the Crisis Comes Home: Emotions, Professionalism, and Reporting on March 22 in Belgian Journalists’ Narratives. Journalism 21(11): 1710-1726. DOI: 10.1177/1464884917748519.

Kotisova J (2019) The Elephant in the Newsroom: Current Research on Journalism and Emotions. Sociology Compass. Epub ahead of print 20 March 2019. DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12677.

Kotišová J (2019) Creative Nonfiction in Social Science: Towards More Engaging and Engaged Research. Teorie vědy / Theory of Science 41 (2): 283-305. Available at: https://teorievedy.flu.cas.cz/index.php/tv/article/view/487/488.

Kotišová J (2019) Devastating Dreamjobs: Ambivalence, Emotions, and Creative Labor in a Post-Socialist Audiovisual Industry. Iluminace 31(4): 27-45. Summary available at: https://www.iluminace.cz/images/summary/2019/Iluminace%204_2019%20Johana%20Kotisova.pdf.

Kotišová J (2017) Cynicism Ex Machina: The Emotionality of Reporting the “Refugee Crisis” and Paris Terrorist Attacks in Czech Television. European Journal of Communication 32(3): 242–256. DOI: 10.1177/0267323117695737.