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.
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.
Reviewed by Hans-Dieter Kübler / The fact that the political reunification of the two German states on October 3, 1990 was preceded by economic annexation or infiltration in the form of fusions, joint ventures, pricing policy, and confidential agreements with the financially strong West is sufficiently known and has been the subject of a great deal of research. The author of this book argues that one particularly symptomatic and momentous example – as a paradigmatic conflict between the market interests of large-scale journalism and small publishing houses on the one hand and alternative reform concepts and noble democratic ideals of press freedom on the other – is the aggressive annexation and restructuring of the GDR press market using West Germany as a template.
Reviewed by Guido Keel / The internet has become a core research instrument for journalists over the last fifteen years. To start with, many questions were asked about how this new information medium should be handled in journalism. But online research is now so ubiquitous and online communication has become so institutionalized in connection with public organizations and actors, that such questions are of little interest.
»This book looks at the needs and behavior of the audience on the one hand and, on the other, the constraints facing and possibilities available to journalism. Its most important concern is that each side should see the other not as an opponent, but as a partner pursuing a shared goal – ideally the goal of making life for each individual and life together in society a little bit better.« This passage is taken from Alexandra Borchardt’s introduction entitled »A deep divide. Journalism and its audience.« It sounds pleasant enough – who would not want to bridge divides between people and make the world a better place? But this concept is far from a matter of course, especially when it comes to journalism as a profession.
News can justifiably be considered the very heart of journalism. The role of journalists is to bring anything new, relevant, and topical to the attention of the world as news. But news and news journalism – like journalism in general – are facing enormous changes and threats to their very existence: disintermediation, the rise of digital platforms, the associated revolution in communications processes, and the economic crisis enveloping journalistic media companies, to name but a few.
Multimedia stories have long since become an established part of journalism, and much has been written on the subject of digital storytelling, in both academic articles and practical manuals. The multimedia reportage “Snow Fall” (New York Times 2012) is often quoted as an example of best practice and a prototype for multimedia storytelling. So why do we need another book on the topic?
Trite criticism of journalism is currently to be heard from all quarters, not least from insiders. Despite this, the author – a former radio journalist and channel controller at Hessischer Rundfunk who now teaches the topic at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz – believes that the continued spread, and indeed consolidation, of the common prejudice expressed in the book’s title is down to a widespread and deep-seated »ignorance« of the »structure and operating principles of the media.«
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
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