Journalism studies in the GDR is the subject of the historical paper in this edition. Based on Bourdieu’s field theory and on records, contemporary witnesses, and publications from the training facility at the University of Leipzig, Michael Meyen examines how the constraints of society and the requirements placed by editorial offices on teaching and research influenced the subject. He concludes that the logic of the academic field and the expertise developed in it relativized the intervention of the ruling Party. The paper goes on to look at why, despite this, GDR journalism studies was so difficult to integrate into West German communication studies following reunification in 1989.

Theresa Möckel investigates which journalistic situations lend themselves to being presented as stories on digital platforms. The author examined news stories and evaluated a sample story in an online survey. Based on its results, she developed a recommendation for the use of stories in journalism.

Hack or entertainer? How do tabloid journalists see themselves and what is their role? Jonas Schützeneder conducted a qualitative survey to find out.

In the essay, Wiebke Möhring takes a look at the local journalism available, the state it is in, and the challenges it faces.

Is there a place for fictionality in journalism? This question has been the subject of extensive discussion in the media industry and among its recipients in recent months, triggered by the falsification scandal at Der Spiegel. Gunter Reus and co-author Tanjev Schultz – both former journalists – examine this question from an academic point of view. Yes, there is a place for fictionality in journalism, as long as it is transparent, says Gunter Reus. Tanjev Schultz, on the other hand, argues that there is no place for fictionality in journalism, which should consist purely of factual storytelling.

What do you think about the question of fictionality in journalism? Do you have experience of stories in journalism? Do you see the future of local journalism differently from Wiebke Möhring? Did you experience or play a part in the development of journalism studies in the GDR?

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