The Top 10 of Book Journalism Recommendations for books by journalists

by Fritz Hausjell / Wolfgang R. Langenbucher / Maria Beinborn (contributing co-author) / 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. With Journalism Research, a new medium for publication has been found.

Wilhelm Kempf: Friedensjournalismus. Grundlagen, Forschungsergebnisse und Perspektiven. [Peace Journalism. Foundations, Research Results and Perspectives]

Reviewed by Ralf Spiller

The term »Peace Journalism« first emerged around 1900. Social science has been researching the concept for about 25 years. But what exactly is Peace Journalism? Is it journalism about peace? A normative concept of what constitutes good reporting? Or something else entirely? Kempf’s short book sheds light on the issue.

Bernadette Uth: Hochwertig, transparent, publikumsnah. [High-quality, transparent, audience-focused. A Qualitative Analysis of Editorial Strategies for Building Trust in Journalism]; and Nina Elvira Steindl: Geleitet von Vertrauen? [Guided by Trust? Determinants and Consequences of Journalists’ Trust in Germany]

Reviewed by Beatrice Dernbach

Trust has become a buzzword in public communication in recent years. While people do trust science in times of crisis, as evidenced by the Science Barometer by Wissenschaft im Dialog, politicians and journalists do not enjoy much of it. In empirical research, trust in (!) journalism is often and still equated with media trust, which is not the same thing.

Astrid Blome, Tobias Eberwein, Stefanie Averbeck-Lietz (eds.): Medienvertrauen. Historische und aktuelle Perspektiven [Trust in media. Historical and current perspectives]

Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler

As many sources cite, in 2014/15, the (first) Ukraine crisis and overwhelming refugee movements gave rise to the term »lying press« to bash liberal mainstream media for their alleged disinformation and manipulation, used especially by right-wing protagonists such as Pegida. Ultimately, mainstream media came under enormous pressure to justify themselves. Trust in quality media and public broadcasting, which had previously been taken almost for granted, began to decline, media criticism often turned into criticism of the system.

Jennifer Wladarsch: Metakommunikation und die Qualität des Journalismus. [Metacommunication and the quality of journalism]

Reviewed by Fabian Prochazka Journalism is just one of many things on offer in the digital public sphere. User-generated content sticks to news like limpets on a ship’s hull: It is a rare article that finds readers without comments, ›likes,‹ or a friendly recommendation in the family WhatsApp group. But how does this ›metacommunication‹ shape the way recipients assess quality?

Sven Preger: Geschichten erzählen. Storytelling für Radio und Podcast. [Telling stories]

Reviewed by Lukas Herzog / In his practitioners’ manual as part of the Gelbe Reihe series, Sven Preger brings together two phenomena that are the subject of intense discussion at the moment: podcasts and storytelling. He thus finds it impossible to omit the trigger for the ongoing boom in podcasting, the American production Serial, addressing it right at the beginning in order to dispel some of what he considers common misconceptions on the success of the series.

Konrad Dussel: Bilder als Botschaft. Bildstrukturen deutscher Illustrierter 1905–1945 im Spannungsfeld von Politik, Wirtschaft und Publikum. (Messaging through images. Image structures in German illustrated magazines from 1905 to 1945 between politics, business, and their audiences)

Reviewed by Ursula E. Koch / 2019 was a great year for literature on the history of press illustrations. It saw the publication of both the fact-packed »Künstlerlexikon« Bilder in der Presse by art and cultural historian Detlef Lorenz and the present publication by Mannheim historian and media history expert Konrad Dussel. The title of his pioneering work refers to the phrase »the medium is the message«, coined more than 50 years ago by Canadian philosopher and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan.