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.

Beatrice Dernbach, Beate Illg (eds.): Journalism and Journalism Education in Developing Countries

Reviewed by Guido Keel / Journalism, which plays a key role in the political, economic, and social development of countries, is facing two challenges at once: First, it must find its role in social transformation. It must determine whether it should help strengthen political and economic structures as a government-loyal actor, or whether it should question the changes as a critical observer. Secondly, it must – at least in part – first build the necessary (infra-)structures, or reform them to create a new self-image.

Michael Haller (2020): Die Reportage: Theorie und Praxis des Erzähljournalismus. [Reportage: Theory and practice of storytelling journalism. 7th edition, completely revised]

Reviewed by Steven Thomsen / It is more than 30 years since the spirit of this book began its long journey through the institutions. Men and women in print journalism, who were given a copy of Michael Haller’s Die Reportage during their own degree or apprenticeship, are themselves now teaching and researching, leading departments and editorial offices, guiding trainees, or giving advanced training to deskmen and reporters.

Claudia Mast, Georg Spachmann, Katharina Georg (2019): »Den Mächtigen auf die Finger schauen«. Zur Zukunft gedruckter Tageszeitungen in der Region. [»Keeping a close eye on the powerful.« On the future of printed daily newspapers in the region.]

Reviewed by Silke Fürst / Having paid little attention to local journalism in the past, journalism research is now taking much more of an interest in the field. This is linked both to the vital role local journalism plays and to the challenges presented by digitalization and the competition for attention and advertising revenue. Even today, local journalism, and the local press in particular, is extremely important not just to many users, but also to community life in villages and towns, as well as ensuring a diversity of information within the media system as a whole.