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

Andreas Elter: TV und AV Journalismus. Praxisbuch für Unterricht und Training, Bd. 1 [TV and AV journalism. Practical book for teaching and training, Vol. 1] Reviewed by Claudia Nothelle

Divided into theory and practice of TV and AV journalism, Andreas Elter’s two-volume work promises to cover the entire spectrum of digital AV journalism. The first volume, which looks at the theory and includes only a few comments on practice in separate, framed paragraphs, has now been published. continue to article

Elizabeth Prommer, Christine Linke: Ausgeblendet. Frauen im deutschen Film und Fernsehen. [Hidden. Women in German film and television] Reviewed by Ingrid Schicker

It has become common today for critical journalists to question whether, in order to maintain its own credibility, the media should campaign for greater diversity in the production of news, film and television. As well as a diverse range of people in editorial offices and production teams, it is important to ensure a gender balance between the men and women shown on television and cinema screens. Forty-four years ago, Küchenhoff et al. found gender hierarchization in German television schedules that put women at a considerable disadvantage. continue to article

Stephan Russ-Mohl: Die informierte Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde. Warum die Digitalisierung unsere Demokratie gefährdet. [The informed society and its enemies. Why digitalization threatens our democracy] reviewed by Guido Keel

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.

Edson C. Tandoc Jr.: Analyzing Analytics. Disrupting Journalism One Click at a Time reviewed by Stephan Mündges

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.