Michael Haller, Walter Hömberg (Eds.): »Ich lass mir den Mund nicht verbieten!«. Journalisten als Wegbereiter der Pressefreiheit und Demokratie [»I won’t be silenced!« Journalists as pioneers of press freedom and democracy]

Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler / »I never considered freedom of speech a blank check to falsify the truth, a way of playing where anyone can say whatever they want, from a position of absolute power and without any regard for facts.« This is not a contemporary admonition from the era of fake news, hate speech, and echo chambers, but the words of English writer and journalist Daniel Defoe. continue to article

Lauren Lucia Seywald: Investigativer Journalismus in Österreich. Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft einer Berichterstattungsform [Investigative journalism in Austria. History, present and future of a form of reporting]

Reviewed by Boris Romahn / Lauren Lucia Seywald is a Master’s graduate of the Vienna Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies, a freelance journalist, and a project manager at ichschreibe.at. Her book pursues two goals: Explore the structural conditions and influencing factors of investigative journalism, and learn more about the professional self-image of media producers who engage in investigative reporting. continue to article

Patricia Müller: Social Media und Wissensklüfte. Nachrichtennutzung und politische Informiertheit junger Menschen [Social media and knowledge gaps. News use and political awareness among young people]

Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler / The usage figures have been clear for some time: If young people look for information about current events in the news at all, they choose to do so online, using websites and social media. Traditional news media such as radio and television, and especially analog daily newspapers, are largely a thing of the past where this audience is concerned. continue to article

Thomas Hanitzsch, Josef Seethaler, Vinzenz Wyss (Eds.): Journalismus in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz [Journalism in Germany, Austria and Switzerland] Reviewed by Roger Blum

This book is the first of its kind. Journalism in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have been examined many times, but never before together and using identical questions. Despite this, the first feeling one has upon reading this work is one of tedium – the results do not teach us anything new about the 41,000 German, 4,000 Austrian and 10,000 Swiss journalists. But then comes something truly striking and controversial: Although more than 90 percent of the media people surveyed see themselves as neutral communicators of information, they see their role of providing critique and monitoring as almost negligible. Only 20 percent in Germany and Austria, and 22 percent in Switzerland, view themselves as a counterweight to the government. That figure for the USA is 86 percent. Just 29 percent of the German, 13 percent of the Austrian, and 47 percent of the Swiss journalists trust the government, and clear majorities believe that it is acceptable to use confidential government documents without permission occasionally – yet they do not want to scrutinize the government. The study shows that there is a need for action here, and that the journalistic community in the three countries needs to hold a debate about how it sees its role! continue to article

Katherine M. Engelke: Die journalistische Darstellung von Vertrauen, Misstrauen und Vertrauensproblemen im Kontext der Digitalisierung [The journalistic representation of trust, mistrust, and trust problems in the context of digitalization] Reviewed by Beatrice Dernbach

Trust is the buzz word of the modern age. Who trusts whom and why? Or rather: Why are some people not (or no longer) trusted? Is mistrust in political and economic actors growing? PR agency Edelman has been researching trust in governments, non-governmental organizations, business, and the media for 20 years (https://www.edelman.de/research/edelman-trust-barometer-2020). Unfortunately, this link is not included in the otherwise very comprehensive bibliography of the dissertation by Katherine M. Engelke. Although this is not a problem, its inclusion would have enabled a broader view of empirical findings on the object of the research. However, this comment is of little importance given the author’s overall achievement. continue to article

Kai von Lewinski (Ed.): Immersiver Journalismus [Immersive journalism] Reviewed by Markus Kaiser

The »next big thing in human-machine interaction« is how Kai von Lewinski, editor of the book Immersiver Journalismus, refers to virtual and augmented reality. That was the reason behind the »Immersive journalism – technology, effect, regulation« conference at the University of Passau in March 2018. Now the transcript publishing house has put together the papers presented there in a collected volume in a Media Studies edition. continue to article

Yoel Cohen (Ed.): Spiritual News. Reporting Religion around the World Reviewed by Nigjar Marduchaeva

»Corruption, political intrigue, sex, violence, and fiscal irregularities make good religion news« (21). In exaggerated yet undoubtedly fitting style, Yoel Cohen describes – based on the idea that »only bad news are good news« – the common idea of religion journalism. In a total of 19 pieces, this collected volume clearly demonstrates that the topic is much more wide-ranging than this phrase suggests. What does the reporting focus on; how is its content steered; and which influencing factors determine its thrust? Spiritual News examines these and many other questions. continue to article

Sinan Sevinc: Augmented Reality im Journalismus [Augmented reality in journalism] Reviewed by Markus Kaiser

Following its initial boom, augmented reality passed through its trough on the Gartner Hype Cycle in 2018. After the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine became the first magazine in the world to include additional virtual content in its printed product in 2010, the technology became familiar to the majority of the population through the smartphone game Pokémon GO. Augmented reality is also becoming increasingly important in industry. continue to article

Franzisca Schmidt: Populistische Kommunikation und die Rolle der Medien [Populist communication and the role of the media] Reviewed by Philipp Müller

The choice of topic for monographic doctoral projects is a topic in itself. As a book project needs to develop over a period of several years, it should not depend on short-term trends and ›fashion‹ topics. At the same time, the development of attention cycles in society and science can only be predicted to a limited degree. An issue may be considered highly relevant during the planning phase of a project spanning several years, only to have fallen out of focus by the time the work is published. On the other hand, a topic area may also gather pace over the course of the dissertation, without this being obvious from the beginning. continue to article