37 Works

Technisch generalisierte Kommunikationsmedien. Kommunikation im Medium der Adresslisten

Jörg Räwel
Aus systemtheoretischer Perspektive wird die Form adresslistenbasierter Kommunikation, wie sie das Internet ermöglicht – oft unter «soziale Medien» bzw. «soziale Netzwerke» kategorisiert –, untersucht. Kommunikation also etwa in Singlebörsen, sozialen Medien wie Facebook, Netzwerken beruflicher Ausrichtung, Reisekontaktbörsen, usw. Es wird gezeigt, wie Adresslisten als Medien eine technisch unterstützte Möglichkeit darstellen, das Problem doppelter Kontingenz, im Sinne von Initiative und Stabilisierung von Interaktionssystemen, zu bewältigen. Am Fallbeispiel der Anbahnung von (romantischer) Liebe, also in Bezug auf...

Understanding domestic social media use among Chinese college students under the framework of uses and gratifications

Hua Pang
Although China has the world’s largest population of social media users, little is known what drives Chinese users to adopt the country’s leading media platforms, like QQ, WeChat, and Weibo, and what gratifications are satisfied by using these fastest-growing sites. In light of the literature on the uses and gratifications theory, the study explored the essential pattern of computer-mediated communication phenomena and interaction behaviors in Mainland China. In this exploratory study, 258 college students from...

Trust in government: What’s news media got to do with it?

Christopher Starke & Frank Marcinkowski
In modern democracies, trust in government is a key indicator of political legitimacy and stability. Drawing from theories of media effects, we investigated whether using traditional media has a negative (media malaise hypothesis) or a positive (virtuous circle hypothesis) impact on trust in the national government. We used a serial mediation model involving evaluations of politicians and evaluations of the political process as mediators of how political communications influence trust in government. To test the...

Beyond the myth of journalistic storytelling: Why a narrative approach to journalism falls short [Guest Editorial Committee]

Marta Zampa & Daniel Perrin
Despite the journalism education mantra to think story, news media accounts are far more than sheer storytelling. They are more about the punchline first than suspense, more about fragments of information than comprehensive storylines, and more about story-selling than telling. News reporters do not tell stories, as such – but utilize their own narrative routines that evoke stories in people’s minds and in the public sphere. This thematic section scrutinizes the widespread storytelling approaches and...

Data stories. Rethinking journalistic storytelling in the context of data journalism

Martin Engebretsen, Helen Kennedy & Wibke Weber
This paper addresses the increased use of data and data visualization in newsrooms, which has yielded a new form of storytelling: data stories. In journalism, data stories or storytelling with data are the new buzzwords. What journalists mean by data stories, however, remains blurred. We use the emergence of data stories as an opportunity to describe the changing understanding of journalistic storytelling. Based on interviews with editorial leaders, data journalists, developers, and designers in 26...

What prevents knowledge inequalities among citizens from increasing? Evidence from direct-democratic campaigns in Switzerland

Laurent Bernhard
This article seeks to enrich the normative debate on the advantages and drawbacks of direct democracy through an empirical analysis of individual learning about the contents of ballot propositions during campaigns. Following the knowledge gap paradigm, this article examines the factors that prevent socio-economic- knowledge inequalities among citizens from increasing. I argue that ballot propositions of low complexity exert a moderating influence, since such environments provide citizens with easy learning situations. The empirical analysis, based...


Sébastien Salerno & Tom Häussler
This issue of Studies in Communication Sciences (SComS) brings you a general section, two thematic sections – one on political communication and one on storytelling and journalism – as well as news about changes in the editorial team. Geographically, the different contributions in this issue cover China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Two studies use a comparative design and two focus on different aspects of online communication. Taken together, the contributions...

Digital astroturfing in politics: Definition, typology, and countermeasures

Marko Kovic, Marc Sele, Christian Caspar & Adrian Rauchfleisch
In recent years, several instances of political actors who created fake grassroots activity on the Internet have been uncovered. We propose to call such fake online grassroots activity digital astroturfing, and we define it as a form of manufactured, deceptive and strategic top-down activity on the Internet initiated by political actors that mimics bottom-up activity by autonomous individuals. The goal of this paper is to lay out a conceptual map of the phenomenon of digital...

Journalismus aus erzähltheoretischer Perspektive

Karl N. Renner
The essay demonstrates how the narratological theories developed in the field of literary studies can accomplish a better comprehension of journalistic narratives. As they have to accommodate the principles of journalism, these narratives have to be true, topical and impartial. From this point of view storytelling and the inverted-pyramid principle prove themselves as two complementary approaches of journalistic narration, whose stories are all constructed on the basis of real world occurrences and the ideologies of...

Deutsche und italienische Embleme in interkultureller Alltagskommunikation

Daniela Marcantonio
Gesten, als Besonderheit der menschlichen Kommunikation, haben Wissenschaftler unterschiedlicher Disziplinen immer wieder interessiert. Zahlreich sind die Studien in den Kommunikationswissenschaften, die sich mit dieser Thematik beschäftigen und die die Gestik als Teil des kommunikativen Aktes sehen. Inwiefern sind Gesten kommunikativ und kulturbezogen? Verändert sich die Gestik in interkultureller Alltagskommunikation? Ausgangspunkt der Untersuchung ist, dass Gesten häufig als ein Kulturphänomen einem Sprachumfeld zugeordnet werden. Damit stellt sich die Frage, ob die Gestik bei einem Kulturwechsel neu...

Fragmentary narrative reasoning. On the enthymematic structure of journalistic storytelling

Daniel Perrin & Marta Zampa
Journalists worldwide conceive of their work mostly as writing stories, because the narrative mode is extremely effective in delivering information to all social categories. Nonetheless, journalists hardly ever tell a whole story that complies with the criteria contemplated by narratology. Instead, they tell parts of a story and let the audience supply the rest, an operation made possible by the fact that narrative patterns are culturally shared by newswriters and their audiences. In this paper,...

Saying “story” in the newsroom. Towards a linguistic ethnography of narrative lexicon in broadcast news

Gilles Merminod
Despite a general agreement on the narrative nature of news, the question of what it means for the journalists to tell a story is usually taken for granted, while the analysis of the actual narrative practices in the newsrooms often remains shallow. A way of overcoming this state of affairs is to have a look at the narrative practices and norms in the newsroom. On the one hand, one can track the sites of narrative...

Journalists in Switzerland: Structures and attitudes revisited

Vinzenz Wyss, Vittoria Sacco, Filip Dingerkus, Guido Keel & Annik Dubied
It is often stated that journalism and the media are going through some fundamental changes. In this article, we present a description of the journalists in Switzerland, based on a nation-wide survey conducted in 2015. This data gives a quantitative description of journalists in Switzerland. Furthermore, this article makes comparison between various groups of journalists, for example between the different language regions in Switzerland, in order to give a differentiated picture of who the journalists...

Migration and Swiss identity: How much space for the foreign in the familiar?

Diana Ingenhoff
Twentyfive years ago, in 1992, the Seville Expo world exhibition took place on the subject of “national identity”. The Swiss pavilion presented its country in a rather controversial and provocative way with the slogan “La Suisse n’existe pas” (Switzerland does not exist), created by the artist Ben Vautier.Today, the topic is even more relevant and up-to-date, probably more so than ever before, as voting results show society to be deeply divided on many aspects of...

Journalists like the rest of them? A case study of journalistic work routines at a Danish free newspaper

Kirsten Sparre
Academics have paid little attention to the practice of journalism at free newspapers since the free daily press emerged in 1995. A few studies have looked at the contents of free newspapers but not at the way journalism is practiced at free newspapers and whether these practices are different from journalistic work routines in the paid press. This article addresses that gap with a case study of the Danish free newspaper Metroxpress. After identifying the...


Tom Häussler & Sébastien Salerno
This is the second issue of Studies in Communication Sciences (SComS) as a full open access journal at our new home (www.scoms.ch). Open access in the “platinum” version endorsed by SComS is most readily associated with the benefits it has for authors in making their work accessible to a global audience without any delay and without incurring any costs. At the same time, open access allows journals such as SComS to operate more independently of...

Global media and time: A conceptual and historical perspective

Christian Morgner
This paper addresses the role of time and meaning-making in the global mediascape. Particular attention will be paid to the role of past and future narratives, connections of messages with a global outreach and time as a topic of communication. The empirical analysis will use a comparative approach to explore these different dimensions by analysing three global media events, such as, the sinking of the Titanic, the assassination US President John F. Kennedy and the...

The influence of sensationalist features in television news stories on perceived news quality and perceived sensationalism of viewers in different age groups

Rob Eisinga, Mariska Kleemans, Johannes W. J. Beentjes & Paul G. J. Hendriks Vettehen
This study investigates whether the decreased trust in news media can be explained by the increase in sensationalism in news. To this end, an experiment was conducted in which viewers (N = 288) evaluated sensationalist versus non-sensationalist television news in terms of perceived news quality and perceived sensationalism. Each participant watched four television news stories that varied in the presence of two categories of sensationalism: arousing content and tabloid packaging. Findings showed that sensationalist television...

Conflict management in adult sibling relationships: Differences in interpersonal power, sibling influence, and conflict tactic use among sibling types

Megan R. Dillow & Mary E. Donato
This study examined differences in conflict management-related perceptions and behaviors as a function of Gold’s (1989) adult sibling types. Participants were 157 adults who reported on their relationship with a sibling by completing a series of self-report measures about themselves and the sibling administered in paper-and-pencil format. Results revealed that adult siblings who classified their relationship as intimate perceived more positive sibling interpersonal power and parallel sibling influence, and were more likely to use prosocial...

Speaking of language and culture: A report on the conference “Approaches to Migration, Language, and Identity”

Gian Hernandez
The entwined phenomena of migration, language and identity occupy a unique global position. Global mobility influences how human beings relate to one another on geographic, political, and social scales, and these connections and their individual parts stand in a mutually constitutive relationship. It is of utmost importance that academic discourses on these topics are addressed in ways that help positively shape the effects of global flows. Therefore, Anita Auer and Jennifer Thorburn from the University...

Young researchers conference of the Centre for Research on Social Interactions

Letizia Volpin, Sylvia Gonzalez, Klara Skogmyr Marian, Fabienne Gfeller & Adrian Bangerter
The Centre for Research on Social Interactions (CRSI) of the University of Neuchâtel emerged as an interdisciplinary (and inter-faculty) collaboration built around the study of social interaction. The CRSI doctoral program, in turn, was created to provide PhD students with theoretical and methodological support in their research endeavours. Within this framework, the Young Researchers Conference of the Centre for Research on Social Interaction (the CRSI-YR Conference) was organised on February 16–17, 2017, as a concrete...

It’s still the media. How professionalism in corporate communication influences the prioritisation of organizational environments

Rada Babic, Jochen Hoffmann & Ulrike Röttger
This article challenges the widely accepted understanding that corporate communication has been professionalised through its development from traditional press relations into integrated multi-stakeholder management. Based on a cross-cultural survey in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Indonesia, we analyse the links between expertise, autonomy and value-orientation indicating the professionalism of senior communication managers on the one hand, and the perceived relevance of organizational environments on the other. Overall, the results show that professionalism in a traditional...

Presseförderung als Mittel gegen Medienkonzentration und für die publizistische Vielfalt? Quasi-experimentelle Untersuchung der Schweiz im Vergleich zu Belgien, Österreich, Irland sowie Deutschland

Mathias Oertel & Steffen Kolb
Mass media play a certain role for society in democratic systems. Communication research faces this role by analyzing media performance. Well performing media provide the society with a diversity of topics, opinions, and sources. Mostly economically driven processes of media concentration endanger media diversity by decreasing the amount of independent media companies most probably causing less diverse media content. To counteract processes of media concentration in the field of daily newspapers many countries have established...

Trauma journalism and disaster resilience. German journalists’ coping strategies when reporting about crime, violence, accidents, crises and natural disasters

Melanie Verhovnik
Accidents, violent crimes, war and natural disasters are traumatic experiences for individuals directly and indirectly involved, and often result in long-lasting consequences which are difficult to deal with. Journalists who report on these incidents are part of this group. Since the events on 9/11, this topic has shifted into the public’s focus, but there is still little known about the effects of crisis coverage for the journalists involved. The results of 30 semi-structured interviews show...

The psychological mechanisms of persuasive impact from narrative communication

Lijiang Shen, Kristin K. Andersen, Demetria McNeal & Suyeun Seung
This paper develops and tests a comprehensive psychological model of how narrative messages persuade. In this model, perceived realism and perceived similarity are considered as the antecedents of narrative engagement variables. There are three forms of narrative engagement, transportation, identification, and parasocial interaction, which are conceptualized as the primary mediating mechanisms. Message elaboration and psychological reactance are proposed as the secondary mediating mechanisms. A web-based study (N = 374) was conducted to test this complex...

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