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. In 2020 and 2021 the publication of the recommendation list had to be temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The collecting of relevant books, however, was not: more than 100 copies were sent in for review during this period. Starting in 2023, the project will return to a normal rhythm, publishing a recommendation list three times a year. For the selection of books published in 2020 and 2021 we will proceed differently since these books have already resonated with an audience, receiving (often journalistic) criticism. Therefore, we will summarize characteristic quotes of book reviews by daily and weekly newspapers.

Christian Schicha, Ingrid Stapf, Saskia Sell (eds.) (2021): Medien und Wahrheit. Medienethische Perspektiven auf Desinformation, Lügen und »Fake News« [Media and Truth. Media Ethical Perspectives on Disinformation, Lies and »Fake News]

Reviewed by Marlis Prinzing / When truth becomes blurred, the biggest problem is not the lie itself, but the loss of orientation. The volume Medien und Wahrheit provides an interpretative order, insights, and concrete food for thought and calls to action from an ethical perspective. The book thus also lays down theoretical foundations, which makes it an important work beyond the immediate present.

Elke Grittmann, Felix Koltermann (eds.) (2022): Fotojournalismus im Umbruch – hybrid, multimedial, prekär [Photojournalism in transition – hybrid, multimedia, precarious]

Reviewed by Julian J. Rossig / Following the 2008 publication of Global, lokal, digital: Fotojournalismus heute, which can, without exaggeration, be considered a milestone in journalism research, Elke Grittmann and her co-author Felix Koltermann are now presenting a follow-up volume: Fotojournalismus im Umbruch – hybrid, multimedial, prekär is a compilation of 18 contributions from academia and practice, providing a multifaceted, up-to-date overview of the profession of photojournalism.

Jan-Felix Schrape (2021): Digitale Transformation

Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler / Many a confident assertion has been made and supposedly stringent timelines have been proposed concerning our digital society. And yet, this tech-sociological »textbook« assumes that the processes of digital transformation are open-ended and driven by a variety of changes whose »dynamics and ambivalences« can only be observed in the short term, but which will create a »intricate long-term connection between technology and society.«

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?