Edition 3/2020

Table of contents

Editorial Problems of Autonomy

The independence of journalism is a common thread weaving through several articles in this issue.

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Social media as a source for journalistic work An investigation into the influence of Facebook and Twitter posts by politicians on reporting in daily newspapers

by Anna Spatzenegger / This article analyzes the extent to which journalists use the contributions of politicians in social networks as a source for reporting in their news­papers. Using a content analysis, six daily papers and the Facebook and Twitter accounts of nine politicians from Austria, Germany and Switzerland were examined.

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For historical reasons On the lack of acceptance of journalism studies in Germany

by Horst Pöttker / In Germany, journalism studies as a university subject – whose role is innovation and education/training in relation to journalism as a profession, in a similar way to medicine for the medical profession – receives little acceptance compared to in the USA and even Russia. This is expressed, for example, in the rather hostile attitude of media practitioners to the academic professional training of journalists. This paper outlines a reason for this deficit that goes back to the history of the subject.

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Opinion or attitude Clarification in a journalistic debate on values and knowledge

by Peter Welchering / There are voices demanding that journalists have an attitude. Some even proclaim the end of neutrality in journalism. On the other hand, journalists are reproached for this exact same thing: To no longer to report what is, but to present reality as they wish it were.

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Copycats or integrative innovators? A proposal for the assessment of »alternative media«

by Gabriele Hooffacker / Today, »alternative media« is used as an umbrella term for a variety of different media products. Some of them simply aim to inject new topics and information into the public discourse of civil society, while others disseminate content that fuels hate against certain groups.

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The mainstream media are the problem Why the counter-discourse might help journalism

by Michael Meyen / The very fact that this magazine is dedicating space to the topic of »alternative media« is a symptom of the decline of journalism. Its compulsive focus on attention, increasing medialization, and the proximity between editorial offices and decision-makers are keeping the mainstream media from fulfilling their public mandate.

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Michael Haller, Walter Hömberg (Eds.): »Ich lass mir den Mund nicht verbieten!«. Journalisten als Wegbereiter der Pressefreiheit und Demokratie [»I won’t be silenced!« Journalists as pioneers of press freedom and democracy]

Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler / »I never considered freedom of speech a blank check to falsify the truth, a way of playing where anyone can say whatever they want, from a position of absolute power and without any regard for facts.« This is not a contemporary admonition from the era of fake news, hate speech, and echo chambers, but the words of English writer and journalist Daniel Defoe. continue to article

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Lauren Lucia Seywald: Investigativer Journalismus in Österreich. Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft einer Berichterstattungsform [Investigative journalism in Austria. History, present and future of a form of reporting]

Reviewed by Boris Romahn / Lauren Lucia Seywald is a Master’s graduate of the Vienna Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies, a freelance journalist, and a project manager at ichschreibe.at. Her book pursues two goals: Explore the structural conditions and influencing factors of investigative journalism, and learn more about the professional self-image of media producers who engage in investigative reporting. continue to article

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Margreth Lünenborg, Saskia Sell (Eds.): Politischer Journalismus im Fokus der Journalistik [Political journalism in the focus of journalism studies]

Reviewed by Roger Blum / Publishing successful Master’s theses on a common overarching topic in one compact volume is a great idea because it lends visibility to student research in a condensed format. continue to article

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Patricia Müller: Social Media und Wissensklüfte. Nachrichtennutzung und politische Informiertheit junger Menschen [Social media and knowledge gaps. News use and political awareness among young people]

Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler / The usage figures have been clear for some time: If young people look for information about current events in the news at all, they choose to do so online, using websites and social media. Traditional news media such as radio and television, and especially analog daily newspapers, are largely a thing of the past where this audience is concerned. continue to article

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