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.

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.

New paths in journalism, a crossroads for education

by Konstantin Schätz and Susanne Kirchhoff / The professional field of journalism is changing rapidly – and so is journalism education. This study takes the Austrian educational institutions as an example to show which challenges journalism education currently faces and how it responds to them. In addition, the analysis of the course programs and guided interviews with program developers give insight into how the digitalization of journalism has been integrated in the curricula and how the status quo fits into current international debates about an adequate journa­lism education.

The Commercial Advertiser in America’s New Journalism around 1900 Journalistic entrepreneurial spirit between the press' commercialization and its role in society

by Hendrik Michael / The Commercial Advertiser between 1897 and 1901 is considered a journalistic experiment in New Journalism. Under chief local editor Lincoln Steffens, the idea was to produce a local paper that was able to meet the need for information and entertainment among the educated middle classes and a new generation of immigrants through stylistic quality and unusual forms of address. This study attempts to reconstruct the situational contexts behind the project and examines the entrepreneurial spirit in the editorial office of the Commercial Advertiser in relation to a commercial media logic of New Journalism and its established routines of research and presentation. In this context, there is a discussion to be had about how the reinterpretation of professional conventions, the dismantling of editorial hierarchies and routines, and the integration of marginalized actors as journalistic perspectives in reporting can affect the success and quality of innovative journalistic projects.

›Spotify for journalism,‹ ›publishing house platform,‹ or ›digital press wholesaler‹ Three scenarios for a cross-publisher journalism platform

by Christian-Mathias Wellbrock / Information technology is enabling the spread of digital platforms in numerous sectors of the economy – and the media sector is no exception. Key parts of content distribution in film, music and games is already happening in this way. Digital journalism, however, is yet to see this development. The explanation often given is various reservations towards such a platform on the part of publishing houses, usually based on the assumption that this platform would be operated by a third company and have the corresponding disadvantages. In addition, most believe that access to the content of the various providers would be via a central point, thus ripping the content out of the brand environment of the respective provider. This paper discusses three scenarios for a cross-publisher, subscription-based journalism platform. The scenarios differ in terms of platform operator (technology companies, a collaboration between German publishing houses, and a public service provider) and address the arguments described above. The paper argues that regional newspaper publishers have a strong incentive to collaborate to establish such a platform as an alternative to a platform controlled by a global technology company, since regional publishing houses – unlike many national media – are usually not in direct competition with one another. In terms of the social welfare, on the other hand, a public service platform that guarantees non-discriminatory access on the provider side (a kind of ›digital press wholesaler‹) appears preferable. This could halt the trend towards concentration at the distribution level, enable journalistic competition and diversity at the production level, helping to ensure a diversity of media and opinions and prevent ›news deserts‹.

The Flood of Refugees in our Heads: Metaphorical Framing of Refugees in German Newspaper Discourse A qualitative content analysis

by Carolin Fischer / The number of people fleeing to Europe increased dramatically in 2015. Each day, countless reports on the refugee issue were published prominently on every channel. The media played a crucial role not only in providing information to the insecure public and to policy makers, but also in framing the arrivals. Previous studies have examined the way refugees are depicted in the media discourse of host countries, indicating that media systematically discriminate against these minority groups and deem them as a threat to the majority group. Decisive for this study was the assumption that metaphors – as it often is the case in reporting – must have been part of the media discourse on refugees in 2015. Figurative language types such as metaphor are powerful devices in framing societal issues and shaping public discourse. Based upon Lakoff and Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), and against the background of framing theory, this study explores whether metaphors used in the refugee issue have the power to establish prejudiced opinions towards refugees, depending on their meanings and implications.continue to article

Max Weber and the age of Trump On the relevance and topicality of the sociologist and media researcher on the 100th anniversary of his death

by Siegfried Weischenberg / He has been called one of the greatest Germans of all time, the most important social scientist ever, a significant source of inspiration and irritation in attempts to observe and describe modern society. Even today, exactly 100 years after his death, his works are respected all over the world. In both the USA and China, The Protestant Ethic in particular – a holistic attempt to analyze the driving forces of American society that has never been equaled to this day – has lost none of its influence. Max Weber was a scholar of every field, following meticulous (empirical) studies with profound publications on national economics, legal and religious history, politics, music, the mass media, and much more. Yet the international career of the ›bourgeois Marx‹ did not really begin to take off until after his premature death in 1920.continue to article

How do news entrepreneurs view the future of their profession? Four theses on tomorrow’s journalism

By Alexa Keinert, Annett Heft and Leyla Dogruel / In view of fundamental transformations in the media landscape, the future of professional journalism is not only debated among communication scholars but also among journalists and media professionals. Relying on interviews with journalists and founders of German news start-ups, we contribute to this debate and present news entrepreneurs’ perceptions on (1) the core functions of journalism in the future and (2) trends regarding journalism concepts, organisational forms, and revenue models of professional journalism. Based on our findings, four trends can be identified: (1) Professional journalism must focus on comprehensively investigated ›good stories‹. (2) The illusion of objective journalism is replaced by journalism with attitude. (3) Collaboration is the future organisational form in journalism. (4) The funding of professional journalism must increasingly come from civil society.

Means of power Gandhi’s journalistic ethics

By Gerret von Nordheim / Gandhi saw journalism as an irreplaceable means of power in his fight against oppression. As a publisher and deskman, he developed the ethical principles that are presented systematically in this paper. Even today, 150 years after Gandhi’s birth, they still give us cause to reflect. Gandhi’s principles are not those of a journalist who idealizes practice at a hypothetical level, nor those of a theorist guilty of creating an implausible utopia. Instead, they bear witness to a life spent dealing practically with the ethical problems of journalistic work. Given the increasing fragmentation and sense of outrage in today’s society, his publications’ absolute proximity to the reader – in both form and content – and his strict avoidance of unnecessary affectation appear almost prophetic. Other aspects appear stranger: Gandhi rarely reported on political events and rejected both advertising and the exercise of journalism as a profession.

Investigative Data Journalism in a Globalized World A Survey Study on ICIJ Journalists

by Julia Lück and Tanjev Schultz / The study explores the work of journalists who were engaged in the Panama and Paradise Papers investigations of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which uncovered dubious financial transactions on a global scale. An online survey was conducted in March 2018 (N = 67). It comprised aspects of working routines, division of labor, personal networks, challenges, and obstacles, as well as assessments concerning journalistic methods and anonymous sources. Quantitative and qualitative answers give descriptive insights into the mechanisms of global investigative data journalism. Despite diverse backgrounds (42 countries, different types of media), the journalists have much in common when it comes to professional norms and working routines. At the same time, the strict rules of the organization and a lack of access to material and knowledge also pose challenges for members of the network.