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.

The need for local, everyday information The importance of local journalism in the world of digital media

by Wiebke Möhring / Information about where they live is very important to readers – people have a fundamental need to be well-informed about their surroundings. Local journalism is also considered extremely relevant and important at society level. So why does Communication Studies so often take such an anxious view of it? This essay looks at the local journalism on offer, the state it is in, and the challenges it faces. continue to article

How can the state promote journalism? The legacy of Joseph Pulitzer

By Dr. Carsten Brosda / If the state were to promote journalism in a targeted way, we would be able to motivate and support journalism that aspired not only to empirical analysis but also to provide context and thus form part of a critical and emancipatory practice of enlightenment. There are four fields of action that could be pursued in order to promote journalism for the common good: a contemporary legal framework; improved education; targeted support for innovation; and promotion of an “editorial society.” continue to article

The rumor mill On the relationship between journalism and conspiracy theories

By Tanjev Schultz / The common consensus is that conspiracy theories have nothing in common with reputable media outlets. In an age of rumor, conspiracy theories, and fake news, professional journalists should and want to assume the role of paragons of credibility. Yet doing so also means having to reflect possible points of contact and parallels between journalistic accounts and conspiracy theories in a self-critical way. As this paper argues, journalists are undoubtedly susceptible to the same narrative patterns used by conspiracy theorists, albeit taken to extremes. continue to article