Editorial 1/2020

Dear Readers, liebe Leser,

What would your reaction be if you were addressed as »Dear Mister Reader?« Would you feel it applied to you? Or would the masculine form exclude you? We are asking because in the German language, all nouns are gendered and the masculine form is usually the dominant form, traditionally used to implicitly include female members, similar to English words like »mankind.« Adressing you as »liebe Leser« (dear reader) is such a case, too, as the feminine form would be »Leserin.« The question takes us straight to the topic of the debate piece in this issue. Or rather the debate pieces – there are five of them in all.

The topic of the debate – the use of gender-sensitive, inclusive language – challenges journalism and science, and indeed anyone who writes or talks publicly. In English, according to common prejudice, everything is easier. However, as in every language, there are a few things to consider when it comes to grammatical and biological gender.

The editors of Journalism Research all agree that gender-sensitive language makes sense. But the question of whether and in which form we want to request or even demand it from our authors triggered fierce debate, arguments and discussions. We decided to make this discussion public. You will find our various positions here.

Max Weber and Donald J. Trump are two famous names who at first glance do not appear to have much in common. On the occasion of Max Weber’s 100th death anniversay, Siegfried Weischenberg has brought the two together in a piece, describing how Weber’s work was handled after his death and why he is now more popular than ever in the USA (and China).

Jonas Schützeneder also refers to Siegfried Weischenberg’s dissertation in his piece. While sports journalists were still considered climbers in 1976, their field has changed significantly in recent years. These climbers have become impeded in their work, not least due to the behavior of certain top soccer clubs.

In her piece »The flood of refugees in our heads,« Carolin Fischer investigates how metaphors used by the media influenced the discourse during the so-called refugee crisis of 2015.

A child to save the world: This narrative is better read as a horror scenario of the climate catastrophe. In their essay, Friederike Herrmann and Ilka Quindeau explain how the reporting on Greta Thunberg provides a distraction from climate change and those responsible for it.

You are welcome to leave comments directly under each paper, essay, and debate piece, or send us an email at redaktion@journalistik.online. We are also always pleased to receive ideas for topics, manuscripts, and critique. Academia would be nothing without debate.

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