Andreas Elter: TV und AV Journalismus. Praxisbuch für Unterricht und Training, Bd. 2. [TV and AV journalism. A practical primer for teaching and training, vol. 2.]

Reviewed by Sebastian Köhler

Andreas Elter is considered one of the most theoretically and practically versed moving image journalism experts in this country. Prior to his current role as head of the »Moving Image« department at the ARD-ZDF Media Academy, he spent many years working as an editor and reporter at WDR, ZDF and RTL before becoming the nationwide Director of Studies for Journalism at a private university. According to Elter, he wrote this book between December 2019 and May 2021 – a time when Germany and much of the world were heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of crisis, there was a considerable surge in the use of traditional media, similarly to the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The »Praxisbuch für Unterricht und Training« is the second part of a work whose first volume – with a clear theoretical focus – was already reviewed at r:km. According to Andreas Elter, both books have value in their own right and each volume is structured in a modular fashion. In both aspects, he generally succeeded.

The second book, written as a highly practical primer, is also original in that it discusses »renaissances« of media that had previously almost been written off (such as linear television), which often happens in the wake of drastic crises such as the pandemic. Another innovative aspect is the book’s examination of digital audiovisual journalism relatively independently of the channel, i.e. the media form. Overall, Elter’s work makes stimulating contributions to greater media literacy in the very important field of moving images for practical media creators, teachers, and learners.

The book is quite comprehensive in that it brings together two aspects in both the theoretical and the practical realm: Elter shows the »very foundational« aspects (5) without neglecting important recent developments.

The author is aware, and explicitly states, that he can mitigate but not remedy the lack of a comprehensive textbook that considers or even integrates moving image journalism in both theory and practice in equal measure. His attempt to bridge multiple areas is also an attempt to help connect academic fields such as journalism/publicity (more geared towards communication studies) on the one hand, and film and television studies (more geared towards media studies) on the other.

Overall, Andreas Elter attempts to table a kind of »universal model of digital, audiovisual journalism« (6). He succeeded in creating a remarkably integrative approach, also in his personal combination of scientific reflection and practical professional experience.

The book has some (minor) linguistic weaknesses. For instance, the German book title casually dropped the necessary hyphens, an ommission that is common in TV journalism. However, the book’s minor (even negligible) shortcomings hardly detract from its overall, considerable usefulness – especially for media professionals who seek theoretical grounding for their practical work.

This review first appeared in rezensionen:kommunikation:medien, 24 April 2023, accessible at

About the reviewer

Dr. Sebastian Köhler, M.A., has been Professor of Journalism and Applied Communication Studies at HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Management in Berlin since April 2010. Sebastian Köhler can be found on Twitter as @sebkoe and on as Sebastian Köhler.

Translation: Kerstin Trimble

About the book

Andreas Elter (2021): TV und AV Journalismus. Praxisbuch für Unterricht und Training, Bd. 2. [TV and AV journalism. A practical primer for teaching and training, vol. 2.] Baden-Baden [Nomos] 287 pages, 26.- EUR