Stephan Russ-Mohl greets the reader on the inside of the cover with a broad smile. But the book is far from cheerful. What he describes on the next 300 pages of Die informierte Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde leaves the reader feeling both alarmed and ultimately helpless.
Today, we still find ourselves in the opening stages of digital development. Reflecting on and discussing how children and adolescents grow up with it, in it, and creating it, presents numerous dimensions and aspects – some of which actually do justice to this radical and much cited transformation. There are undoubtedly normative decisions to be made and education questions to resolve – but this needs to be done in as up-to-the-minute a way as possible, which is rarely the case in this book.
At the start of 2015, there was no way of knowing that the issue of refugees in the media and the relationship between the European community and the refugees would continue to shape political debate to this day. By the time the events of New Year’s Eve came around, society’s view and the media resonance had changed beyond all recognition – as is shown by the term »refugee crisis« and the way refugees and migration are framed as a security problem for European countries. This makes the issue ideal for research into political events and the dynamics of media and society.
What do users click on? How much time do they spend on an article? Do they watch a video all the way to the end? In the digital world, the use of content can be analyzed with a great deal of precision – a process that has become known as ›analytics.‹ Journalists themselves also use data, learning ever more about how many people access their page, how often which articles are read, and how intensively users interact with a post on Facebook. For more than a decade now, journalism research has also focused intensively on how journalists use these new possibilities and how they are changing journalism.
Will the journalists of the future have to be programmers and businesspeople, too? Should we focus on supporting learners’ creativity and developing their personalities? How much teaching time should a lecturer spend on research techniques or writing style? These are the questions currently being considered by many involved in journalist training. Whether the learners are students at university, trainees in editorial offices, or undertaking further training online, they expect to be taught everything they need to know for a career in journalism. What do they want to learn? What should we be teaching them? We need to make a selection from all the skills and abilities we would like to get across.
Media literacy is the topic on everyone’s lips. Claims that journalism has descended into a lying press, elections are manipulated by fake news, and smartphone use by children and young people is out of control, have all led to a sense that there is a lack of media literacy, and that this deficit is a danger to society, democracy, and the personal wellbeing of young people.
The two key terms of the volume’s title – »autonomy« and »use value« – have gained »a particular topicality« (13) in recent years. The editors are very aware that the focus lies no longer only on the future of journalism in a digitalized world, but increasingly on its fundamental legitimation in society, certainly since New Year 2015/2016. Against this backdrop, the volume is a commemorative publication for the journalism studies expert Volker Wolff, who was Professor of Newspaper and Magazine Journalism at the Department of Journalism, Department of Communication, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
In 2013, Marcus Bölz published a volume on football journalism in Germany. This work in media ethnography gave insight into the way sports journalism in regional newspapers is becoming professionalized and commercialized, given the media transformation, the crisis facing newspapers, and the audience’s fixation on entertainment/football.
reviewed by Julia Lönnendonker / “Gendering War and Peace Reporting” examines the role of gender in war reporting. Reporting on war has traditionally been dominated by men. The editors consider whether the increasing presence of women – both as war reporters and as actors in the military and politics – has changed reporting from the front and whether the female perspective has led to a greater focus on the victims of war, rather than the technical and strategic aspects that dominated in the past. continue to article
reviewed by Guido Keel / Journalists make mistakes, just like any other profession. But long-serving Mainz-based communication studies expert Hans Mathias Kepplinger believes that these errors are more significant than most. In his view, they contribute directly to the loss of trust in the media – a problem for a democratic society that relies on its citizens being able to trust the media. continue to article