Content creation A new phase of journalism?

By Gabriele Hooffacker | Conventional providers of news and journalism have now been joined by a new group of actors, known by terms like ›influencer‹ and ›content creator.‹ While the job description ›content creator‹ usually describes professions from the world of content marketing, some successful content creators also adhere to journalistic standards and are received accordingly. This essay uses games journalism as an example to present a model for the way a segment of journalistic functions is shifting onto new actors and channels.

An ideal hobby garden (for me) Communication studies’ forays into media regulation

By Roger Blum / Absurdly few experts from communication science and media law participate in the bodies of media regulation – in press councils, broadcasting councils, television councils, audience councils, media councils – and in the media in ombudsman’s offices in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. That is a shortcoming. Knowledge of fundamental rights and media law, media ethics, journalism, media structures and media effects research would help to find meaningful solutions.

The problem with pictures Source analysis and fact-checking in a time of war

by Peter Welchering / In a hybrid war, photos and especially videos become a weapon in themselves, image material is mercilessly falsified. That is why a basic knowledge of source analysis and image forensics methods is so important. Image forensics and source analysis cannot convict war criminals – but they can be used to research initial indications of when and where a crime was committed.

»For a journalist, keeping silent is a crime« Russian independent media: Caught between responsibility and wartime censorship

by Daria Gordeeva / It did not take long after the first Russian tanks rolled across the border into Ukraine for the Russian government to tighten its censorship laws. Rushed through, the new laws target allegedly ›false information‹ and set out both large fines and custodial sentences of up to 15 years. Numerous independent media websites were blocked, and at least 150 journalists were forced into exile by a wave of repression. How do independent journalists manage to provide truthful, critical reporting under conditions of wartime censorship?

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.

Let’s talk about utopias On the topicality of ecological visions and media critique in Ernest Callenbach’s novel Ecotopia

by Gabriele Hooffacker / Utopias allow us to criticize the present from an assumed positive future perspective. At present, however, dystopias are dominating the discourse. Using Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 novel Ecotopia, our author tested the topicality of a positive ecological utopia in a teaching project: Students at a summer academy read excerpts from the novel and explored its positive ecological visions of the future as well as its criticism of the contemporary media system.

France’s very own Murdoch Money, media, and campaigning

by Valérie Robert / In recent years, France has not only seen an upheaval of its party system, but also changes in its media landscape. The influence of large corporations and entrepreneurs might endanger internal freedom of the press and reinforce a political shift towards the right. This article analyses current developments on the French media market as the election campaign gets underway, with a particular focus on the conglomerate TF1 and billionaire Vincent Bolloré.

Teaching Constructive Journalism How solution-focused journalism can serve both as a model and a tool for journalism education

by Gabriele Hooffacker / Does the concept of Constructive Journalism contribute new aspects to journalism studies? This essay shows that the approach of Constructive Journalism can be a productive and stimulating element in education and training. It helps society negotiate contentious issues and unburdens journalists as an alternative reporting model. During events that are portrayed as crises, Constructive Journalism can point out different possible solutions.

Will coronavirus harm right-wing populists? Hopes that the pandemic will also destroy political populism may be premature

by Nina Horaczek / Numerous political commentators see the end of political populism approaching in view of the Corona epidemic. Indeed, the popularity ratings of populist parties have been in decline since the outbreak of the corona crisis. But the virus offers populists also great opportunities for their media discourse. They frame Corona, the invisible, stateless virus, into a tangible scapegoat. Not without reason US-President Donald Trump speaks of a »Chinese virus«. To spread their message, populists on both sides of the Atlantic can rely on a media network that they and their confidants have very cleverly built up in recent years.