Edition 1/2022

Table of contents


Dear Readers,

Academic pluralism is one of the core concepts of this journal, as can be seen from the editorial of the very first edition. It stated that the group of publishers displays sufficient plurality in terms of »age, gender, nationality and academic profile.« This is just one of the reasons – the main one being her expertise and cooperative nature – why we are so delighted to introduce Stine Eckert, who is joining us as an additional publisher.

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Artificial intelligence as a tool of assistance A scientific and practical perspective on AI in journalism

by Michael Graßl, Jonas Schützeneder, and Klaus Meier / Artificial intelligence has become a buzzword in business and society, denoting any automated, cooperative, and corrective forms of interaction between humans and machines. There is a need for information, discussion, and systematization – despite or rather because of the wealth of publications on the topic that crop up on an almost daily basis. This article is an attempt to bring some (conceptual) order to this field.

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A woman in the light and shadow of home and exile Austrian writer and journalist Hilde Spiel (1911-1990)

by Karin Burghardt / She was a driven woman – both by the times she was born into and by her own lofty ambitions. Young Hilde Spiel wanted to be a writer. »I’m twenty-four and I still haven’t done anything to earn immortality«, she wrote in her memoirs, even though by that time, she had already been ambitiously building her writing career.

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Metajournalistic Discourse on Risks of News Reception A Case Study on the Legitimization of Authority in the Context of a Journalistic Scandal

by Laura Badura and Katherine M. Engelke / The purpose of this study is to disclose metajournalistic discourse on risks (i.e., false, incomplete, erroneous information) that are present during the use of news content for recipients and to discern whether this self-criticism can contribute towards legitimizing journalism’s authority. Journalistic consideration of risks is relevant to the relationship between journalism and the audience because recipients’ trust always relates to risk-taking.

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The hybrid university system needs a nuanced reward culture Using advanced training in teaching as currency

by Marcel Franze / Universities of all kinds are institutions of teaching and research. As a result, disciplines like journalism studies straddle two fields: academia on the one hand, and professional preparation and qualification on the other. This balancing act becomes particularly obvious when it comes to the way theory and practice can be integrated. University staff receive too little attention in this context.

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What is »alternative media criticism?« An argument for a well-founded understanding of critique

by Mandy Tröger / In his article »How great is the ›misery of the media?‹« Siegfried Weischenberg introduces the term »alternative media criticism« (AMC). However, he neither defines what AMC is supposed to mean, nor does he justify the selection of texts according to which he outlines the concept. The following text is an attempt to clarify the debate.

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The parole on the ›misery of the media‹

by Alexis von Mirbach / The feud between Siegfried Weischenberg and Michael Meyen is no secret in the world of communication studies and provides the only logical explanation for the claim that our book Das Elend der Medien [The misery of the media] forms part of a field called alternative media criticism (AMC).

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Of scientific relativization and differentiation Why Siegfried Weischenberg’s assessment of Noam Chomsky’s propaganda approach is wrong

by Florian Zollmann / Siegfried Weischenberg regards Noam Chomsky’s propaganda approach as exemplary of an Alternative Media Criticism (AMC). According to Weischenberg, the AMC is lacking in balance as well as scientific relativization and differentiation. As the following article will show, Weischenberg’s account of Chomsky’s propaganda approach is incorrect and inconsistent with the academic literature.

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Marlis Prinzing, Roger Blum (eds.): Handbuch Politischer Journalismus. [Manual of political journalism]

Reviewed by Sascha Thürmann In their Handbuch Politischer Journalismus, Marlis Prinzing and Roger Blum planned to take on the brave experiment of representing the totality of political journalism in modern European democracies. There is no doubt that this is a major challenge given the diversity and crucial significance of political journalism.

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Jennifer Wladarsch: Metakommunikation und die Qualität des Journalismus. [Metacommunication and the quality of journalism]

Reviewed by Fabian Prochazka Journalism is just one of many things on offer in the digital public sphere. User-generated content sticks to news like limpets on a ship’s hull: It is a rare article that finds readers without comments, ›likes,‹ or a friendly recommendation in the family WhatsApp group. But how does this ›metacommunication‹ shape the way recipients assess quality?

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Sven Preger: Geschichten erzählen. Storytelling für Radio und Podcast. [Telling stories]

Reviewed by Lukas Herzog / In his practitioners’ manual as part of the Gelbe Reihe series, Sven Preger brings together two phenomena that are the subject of intense discussion at the moment: podcasts and storytelling. He thus finds it impossible to omit the trigger for the ongoing boom in podcasting, the American production Serial, addressing it right at the beginning in order to dispel some of what he considers common misconceptions on the success of the series.

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Michael Müller: Politisches Storytelling. Wie Politik aus Geschichten gemacht wird. [Political Storytelling]

Reviewed by Ralf Spiller / The terms storytelling and narrative have become buzzwords, states Michael Müller right on the first page of his book, and would be evaluated very differently, in part also negatively. He contends that as »storytelling animals,« we humans would be thinking in narrative structures in a wide array of areas.

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