The top 10 of book journalism Recommendations for books by journalists

By Fritz Hausjell and Wolfgang R. Langenbucher | A project by the University of Vienna’s Department of Communication, the idea of selecting and presenting the best books by journalists was co-founded by Hannes Haas (1957-2014) and is compiled by Wolfgang R. Langenbucher and Fritz Hausjell. The first edition was published in 2002 in the quarterly journal Message, founded by Michael Haller. When that journal ceased publication, the book recommendations were documented in the magazine Der österreichische Journalist [The Austrian journalist] from 2015. This was interrupted in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. In 2022, a new place of publication was found: Journalism Research.

Michael Stahl (2023): Der Platz der Freiheit und sein Denkmal. Gedenkort des Widerstands in München-Neuhausen. [Platz der Freiheit and its memorial. A place to remember the resistance in Munich-Neuhausen.]

Reviewed by Horst Pöttker | This highly insightful book is presumably an academic final thesis, although neither the foreword nor the footnotes indicate this. The methodological gymnastics surrounding the content analyses and the style that oscillates between youthfully flippant and academically uptight give rise to this conclusion. The book is insightful because it reveals a lack of attention in three ways.

Combined review: Wartime propaganda

Reviewed by Sabine Schiffer | In his book, Christian Hardinghaus sets himself the task of explaining to his readers how they can uncover propaganda and thus evade the (intended) manipulation. The aim of Jonas Tögel’s book is to make NATO’s strategy papers and considerations visible in public discourse and thus to shed light on the human sphere as a potential sixth theater of war – alongside water, land, air, space and cyberspace.

The top ten of book journalism Recommendations for books by journalists

By Fritz Hausjell and Wolfgang R. Langenbucher | The idea of selecting and presenting the best books written by journalists is a project of the Institute for Journalism and Communication Studies at the University of Vienna, co-founded by Hannes Haas (1957-2014) and compiled by Wolfgang R. Langenbucher and Fritz Hausjell. The project published its first recommendation list in 2002 in the quarterly journal Message, founded by Michael Haller. After the journal’s discontinuation, the selections were doc- umented in the magazine Der österreichische Journalist [The Austrian Journalist] starting in 2015. In 2020 and 2021 the publication of the recommendation list had to be temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It found its new home, Journalism Research, in 2022.

Frank Bräutigam (2023): Recht richtig formulieren. Ein Handbuch mit Beispielen aus der journalistischen Praxis. [How to Correctly Phrase Legal Matters. A Manual with Examples from Journalistic Practice] Tobias Gostomzyk; Uwe Jürgens (eds.) (2023): Böhmermann, Künast, Rezo. Medien- und Internetrecht in 20 Fällen. [Twenty Cases from Media and Internet Law]

Reviewed by Tanjev Schultz | Almost every relevant topic has a legal side to it, and many public debates concern issues that are fundamentally legal matters. A journalist cannot be an expert on everything, but a newsroom that doesn’t have a single staff member with basic legal knowledge – that is plain negligence. Journalists should not be daunted by legalese. Contrary to widespread preconceived notions, many rulings, especially those issued by the German Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, are quite a smooth and compelling read. In addition, there are textbooks that are accessible for people outside the legal profession, too. Here are two books that fall into this category: A new handbook by ARD journalist Frank Bräutigam on how to correctly write about legal topics, and the volume Böhmermann, Künast, Rezo, published by Dortmund-based media law professor Tobias Gostomzyk and Uwe Jürgens, legal adviser to Der Spiegel.

Alexis von Mirbach (2023): Medienträume. Ein Bürgerbuch zur Zukunft des Journalismus. [Media Dreams. A Citizen’s Handbook on the Future of Journalism.]

Reviewed by Gabriele Hooffacker | What’s on citizens’ minds when they think about media and journalism? What are they critical of? How do they define good journalism, and what do they consider necessary conditions for quality journalism? The answers to these questions are obviously essential for the democratic functioning of the media and for democracy itself.

Miriam Grabenheinrich (2023): Journalismus und Diversity. Umgang mit kultureller Diversität in der journalistischen Praxis und Konsequenzen für die Aus- und Fortbildung. [Journalism and Diversity. Addressing Cultural Diversity in Journalistic Practice and Implications for Education and Training.]

Reviewed by Bärbel Röben | Germany has long been a country of immigration, but in journalistic training, the necessary new key skills of addressing diversity and differentiation are rarely taught. Thanks to Miriam Grabenheinrich’s extensive research, there finally is a theoretically sound, practice-tested concept for raising journalists’ intercultural awareness!

The Top 10 of Book Journalism Recommendations for books by journalists

By Fritz Hausjell and Wolfgang Langenbucher | The idea of selecting and presenting the best books written by journalists is a project of the Institute for Journalism and Communication Studies at the University of Vienna, co-founded by Hannes Haas (1957-2014) and compiled by Wolfgang R. Langenbucher and Fritz Hausjell. The project published its first recommendation list in 2002 in the quarterly journal Message, founded by Michael Haller. After the journal’s discontinuation, the selections were documented in the magazine Der österreichische Journalist [The Austrian Journalist] starting in 2015. In 2020 and 2021 the publication of the recommendation list had to be temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It found its new home, Journalism Research, in 2022.

Gunter Reus: Der andere Claudius. Anmerkungen zu einem oft verkannten Publizisten. [The Other Claudius. Notes on an Oft-Misunderstood Publicist.]

Reviewed by Horst Pöttker | »Der Mond ist aufgegangen, die goldnen Sternlein prangen…« [The moon has risen, the golden stars are shining…] – Matthias Claudius’ lullaby has become such a staple that it has spawned numerous parodies, among others by Dieter Höss and Dieter Hildebrandt. Peter Rühmkorf’s spoof begins like this: »The moon has risen, / I, between hope and dangling, / don’t touch the sky.« Even such rather odd echoes of the song point to the part of Claudius’ work that paints him as a sensitive, occasionally sanctimonious, God-fearing poet, and as such, he certainly fit into the literary and cultural historical era of his time (1740-1815).

Markus Wolsiffer: Das Nachrichtenverständnis junger Menschen. Definitionen und Erwartungen im Kontext aktueller journalistischer Information. [How young people process the news. Definitions and expectations in the context of current journalistic information.]

Reviewed by Nadine Klopfenstein Frei | When a journalist with a doctorate writes a book about how young people process the news, one might expect a sharp argument here or there, or at least a pointed pen. But Markus Wolsiffer exercised academic restraint in his book Das Nachrichtenverständnis junger Menschen. The author consolidated his dissertation into a nice volume on news processing by adolescents aged 14 to 21, also providing an overview of news research and its underlying theories.