By Kim Björn Becker | The introduction of the language model ChatGPT created plenty of hype around the use of artificial intelligence – not least in journalism. In a profession based around language, the new technology has a wide range of applications. Yet these new possibilities also give rise to questions about how the media deal with artificial intelligence (AI). Some editorial offices have now begun to react to the challenge by publishing their own AI guidelines, aiming to clarify the principles on which their use of algorithms is based. This paper conducts a comparative examination of the documents issued by seven international media in order to gain a fundamental understanding of where the editorial offices see opportunities and the pitfalls they address. The investigation looks at two organizations each from Germany and the USA, as well as one each from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The analysis shows that news agencies tend to have more concise rules, while public service broadcasters are subjected to more comprehensive regulatory standards. Each editorial office sets its own focus: While almost all the media’s guidelines cover human control of AI and questions of transparency, there is less focus on requirements for trustworthy algorithms. The investigation shows that, although media are already looking at fundamental questions thrown up by the new technology, newsrooms still have blind spots when it comes to dealing with AI.
By Fred Vultee | This discourse analysis draws on a database of foxnews.com homepages from 2022-23 to assess the issues, stories and actors that help form the worldview of the Fox audience. The thematic assessment is complemented by a study of text features that address licensing: who speaks and how, and under what conditions? Results address a question that has drawn attention for more than two decades: »What is Fox News?«
By Horst Pöttker | The purpose of this article is to raise awareness for fundamental problems of journalistic quality assurance. To do this, we analyzed Karl Bücher’s largely forgotten reform concept of 1919 against the backdrop of current media developments for its sociopolitical relevance, its merits and flaws compared to other concepts of journalistic quality assurance (most of which Bücher himself already mentioned at the time), its applicability to various media, and its political, legal, and economic viability. Our hypothesis is that the most promising and viable approach is to extend the principle of public broadcasting to other media.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.