Really?! Sophie Scholl on Instagram An analysis of the journalistic discourse

By Martina Thiele and Tanja Thomas | This paper examines the journalistic discourse on the Instagram project @ichbinsophiescholl. The project is based on a fictional premise in which the resistance fighter Sophie Scholl uses the social media platform Instagram during the last few months before her arrest and murder in 1943. This thought experiment and its implementation in 2021 attracted a great deal of media attention. The PR departments of SWR and BR communicated the number of followers and the extensive reporting as a major success and vindication of their approach to reaching young people. This analysis reconstructs discursive patterns, discourse strands, and discourse positions in the reporting on the project, and discusses the extent to which »the« journalism has fulfilled its public role and the various functions assigned to it.

Representativity in broadcasting and television councils A comparative analysis of the discrepancy between council composition and demographics

By Jasmin Koch, Sabine Schiffer, Fabian Schöpp and Ronja Tabrizi / The crisis in public service media indicates various causes and areas in which structural reform is needed. In this context, it is important to consider the composition of the broadcasting councils of the ARD broadcasters, the ZDF Television Council, and Deutschlandradio’s Radio Council. Since the people of Germany fund the fulfilment of the ›programming mandate‹ through their license fee, they need to be represented in the supervisory bodies in all their diversity. It is notable that some groups and sectors of people are disproportionately represented, while others are not represented at all.

Media ownership and journalism A discourse analysis about media coverage of property ownership using the example of Kevin Kühnert’s expropriation debate

By Silas Ketels | In May 2019, Kevin Kühnert – in his function as leader of the Young Socialists in the SPD – gave an interview to the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit about his understanding of the concept socialism. The interview was followed by a heated media debate, which is analyzed in this paper. Employing discourse analysis, dominant discourse positions of several German newspapers within this debate were identified. Furthermore, this study examined whether a connection between the newspapers’ discourse position and their form of ownership existed.

How the internet is being tamed in Russia Chronicle of state securitization measures

By Yulia Belinskaya | As a communicative space, the Russian public sphere is dramatically prosecuted, and it suffers from pathologic efforts to have it systematically shut down. This article looks back into the history of the new restrictive media laws and their framing in the state media. The analysis is disclosing how, or through which instruments and conditions, the state enabled, justified, and legitimized the act of securitization.

Internal freedom of the press revisited On the current need for regulation of media ownership power from the perspective of German media journalists

By Uwe Krüger, Pauline Köbele, Mascha Leonie Lang, Milena Scheller and Henry Seyffert / This article traces the lines of conflict from the heyday of the Statute Movement [Statutenbewegung] to a re-framing of internal press freedom within publishing houses over the past few decades: from an instrument of democratizing media outlets to one for assuring journalistic quality. Lastly, this article discusses the findings of a qualitative survey of twelve German media journalists on their political opinions and ideals regarding the powers of media owners and managers.

Counter digital revolution, disinformation, and journalistic constraints in Arab media

By Sahar Khamis and Khalid Al-Jaber / This article tackles the exploitation of new media, and the laws and regulations governing them, by Arab authoritarian regimes to crack down on opponents, act­ivists, and journalists, oftentimes under the mantle of fighting disinformation, using a plethora of techniques. It also illustrates how disinformation could spread rapidly through governmentally orchestrated campaigns via new communication tools, causing serious political consequences and high risks to activists and journalists, while aiding counter revolutions.

Environmental reporting in Ukrainian media The importance of communicating environmental science to raise public environmental awareness

By Olha Harmatiy / Raising people’s awareness about the environment is mandatory in order to deal with growing threats and challenges to the environment. The role of news media as a main source of knowledge about the environment for wide audiences and a social platform for the formation of public environmental awareness and culture is significant.

»Radio women in queer jobs« The construction of women broadcasters in the American trade magazine Broadcasting 1931-1939

By Stine Eckert / For more than 90 years, the magazine Broadcasting (now titled Broadcasting & Cable) has been one of the most influential trade publications for American radio. A qualitative textual analysis of its coverage between 1931 and 1939, when radio became commercialized, found that the magazine rarely mentioned women working in radio production and management. Women who had such roles were framed as outliers.

Neutrality and values in journalism A theoretical concept for journalism studies, borrowed from value sociology

by David Muschenich / Neutrality in journalism is an oft-demanded ideal and an established quality criterion. Yet the term is rightly criticized as being too vague; even some studies work with imprecise definitions. This is surprising, given that – as this paper shows – neutrality certainly can be differentiated from related terms and understood as an impartial presentation of the topics selected and researched.