Edition 2/2019

Table of contents

Editorial 2/2019

How did journalists from around the world work together on the Paradise and Panama Papers? Julia Lück and Tanjev Schultz have been finding out. In their paper, they publish the key results from their study on the work of journalists in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who were involved in uncovering criminal financial activities on a global scale. One of the biggest challenges they faced was enabling the enormous quantity of data to be analyzed and trawling through it to find the stories about people, companies and their activities that would be relevant to the public. Read on in this edition of Journalistik to find out how they did it.

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Investigative Data Journalism in a Globalized World A Survey Study on ICIJ Journalists

by Julia Lück and Tanjev Schultz / The study explores the work of journalists who were engaged in the Panama and Paradise Papers investigations of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which uncovered dubious financial transactions on a global scale. An online survey was conducted in March 2018 (N = 67). It comprised aspects of working routines, division of labor, personal networks, challenges, and obstacles, as well as assessments concerning journalistic methods and anonymous sources. Quantitative and qualitative answers give descriptive insights into the mechanisms of global investigative data journalism. Despite diverse backgrounds (42 countries, different types of media), the journalists have much in common when it comes to professional norms and working routines. At the same time, the strict rules of the organization and a lack of access to material and knowledge also pose challenges for members of the network.

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»World history does not pay enough attention to rays of sunshine« The political and social dimension of Joseph Roth’s journalistic work

by Petra Herczeg / Joseph Roth (1894 to 1939) was one of the most significant authors of the 20th Century, familiar to a wide audience with works such as »Job« and »Radetzky March« and through the films of many of his literary works. But he was more than this, leaving behind a comprehensive body of journalistic work. Both his literary and his journalistic work is shaped by precise observations and a sociological look at people and society. This paper analyzes the journalistic work of Joseph Roth, especially his journalistic efforts to counter the rise of National Socialism, and discusses its topicality for journalism today.

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Between mistrust and instrumentalisation On dealing with the AfD in journalism

by Marcus Maurer / Like many populist parties, the »Alternative für Deutschland« (AfD) attempts to generate media coverage and public attention through targeted provocation. Journalism is thus faced with the question of how to deal with these attempts at instrumentalization. This paper discusses three possible strategies and their consequences, and calls for the AfD to be treated professionally, but not uncritically. Excluding the party from public discourse or reacting indignantly to its provocations is counterproductive and contradicts some of the fundamental rules of journalism.

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Overrated bots? An examination of Twitter debates – and what journalists can learn from it

by Tommy Hasert and Gabriele Hooffacker / Social bots are suspected of having an impact on public discourse, manipulating election results, and seeking to influence political conflicts. This paper is based on an investigation that sought to detect and evaluate social bots in current Twitter debates. The authors show that the influence of bots appears much less dramatic than is often written about. In fact, over-regulation presents a greater threat to democracy than the bots themselves.

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Britta M. Gossel, Kathrin Konyen (Hrsg.): Quo Vadis Journalistenausbildung? Befunde und Konzepte für eine zeitgemäße Ausbildung [Quo vadis journalist training? Findings and concepts for contemporary training] reviewed by Liane Rothenberger

Will the journalists of the future have to be programmers and businesspeople, too? Should we focus on supporting learners’ creativity and developing their personalities? How much teaching time should a lecturer spend on research techniques or writing style? These are the questions currently being considered by many involved in journalist training. Whether the learners are students at university, trainees in editorial offices, or undertaking further training online, they expect to be taught everything they need to know for a career in journalism. What do they want to learn? What should we be teaching them? We need to make a selection from all the skills and abilities we would like to get across.

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Manfred Theisen: Nachgefragt. Medienkompetenz in Zeiten von Fake News. [Asking the question. Media literacy in the age of fake news] reviewed by Guido Keel

Media literacy is the topic on everyone’s lips. Claims that journalism has descended into a lying press, elections are manipulated by fake news, and smartphone use by children and young people is out of control, have all led to a sense that there is a lack of media literacy, and that this deficit is a danger to society, democracy, and the personal wellbeing of young people.

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Karl Nikolaus Renner, Tanjev Schultz, Jürgen Wilke (Hrsg.): Journalismus zwischen Autonomie und Nutzwert [Journalism between autonomy and use value] reviewed by Sebastian Köhler

The two key terms of the volume’s title – »autonomy« and »use value« – have gained »a particular topicality« (13) in recent years. The editors are very aware that the focus lies no longer only on the future of journalism in a digitalized world, but increasingly on its fundamental legitimation in society, certainly since New Year 2015/2016. Against this backdrop, the volume is a commemorative publication for the journalism studies expert Volker Wolff, who was Professor of Newspaper and Magazine Journalism at the Department of Journalism, Department of Communication, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

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Marcus Bölz: Sportjournalistik [Sports journalism studies] reviewed by Jörg-Uwe Nieland

In 2013, Marcus Bölz published a volume on football journalism in Germany. This work in media ethnography gave insight into the way sports journalism in regional newspapers is becoming professionalized and commercialized, given the media transformation, the crisis facing newspapers, and the audience’s fixation on entertainment/football.

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