Members attending the Annual Conference of the Worlds of Journalism Study (2020) in Prague, Czech Republic. The leader of the project, Prof. dr. Thomas Hanitzsch, from the University of Munich, is standing on the outer left of the photo

Prof Thomas Hanitzsch of the Institut für Kommunikations-wissenschaft und Medienforschung at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and chair of the Worlds of Journalism Study, and Prof Arrie de Beer, from the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University, during the launch of Worlds of Journalism in 2020 in Madrid, Spain.

From Janus, a publication of the Department of Journalism, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. December, 2020:10.


Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures Around the Globe of which Professor Extraordinaire Arrie de Beer, Department of Journalism, Stellen bosch University, is a co-editor, has been announced as winner of the prestigious International Journal of Press/Politics Best Book Award for 2020.

The announcement was made at the 2020 virtually held conference of the International Communication Association (ICA).

The award honours internationally oriented books published in the past ten years that advance the theoretical and empirical understanding of the linkages between news media and politics in a globalised world in a significant way.

Published by Columbia University Press last year, it reports on the results from the second Worlds of Journalism Study which surveyed more than 27,500 journalists in 67 countries.

The book was edited by Professors Thomas Hanitzsch (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich), Folker Hanusch (University of Vienna), Jyotika Ramaprasad (University of Florida) and Stellenbosch’s Prof De Beer. The book includes chapters bybmore than forty co-authors.

Prof De Beer also served as the Africa co-ordinator, and as a member of the Worlds of Journalism Study Executive. He was also the country project leader for South Africa, which consisted of Journalism alumnus and Director of Film and Media Studies at Cape Town University, Prof Herman Wasserman (Class of 1994), as well as Dr Vanessa Malila, from the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, and Sean Beckett, now at the Health Systems, Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and then research assistant in the SU Department of Journalism.

The Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) was founded in 2010 to assess the state of journalism throughout the world. The study’s main objective is to help journalism researchers, media practitioners and policymakers better understand the worldviews and changes that are taking place in the professional views of journalists, the conditions and limitations under which journalists operate, and the social functions of journalism in a changing world. A joint effort of researchers from around the world, the project aspires to the highest academic research standards.

In so doing, WJS has become a driver of comparative research in journalism studies, and an institutional home for those who engage in it.

The main question Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures Around the Globe deals with is: How do journalists around the world view their roles and responsibilities in society? Challenging assumptions of a universal definition or concept of journalism, Worlds of Journalism maps a world populated by a rich diversity of journalistic cultures. It offers a ground-breaking analysis of the different ways journalists perceive their duties, their relationship to society and government, and the nature and meaning of their work.

Organised around a series of key questions on topics such as editorial autonomy, journalistic ethics, trust in social institutions, and changes in the profession, the book details how the practice of journalism differs across the world in a range of political, social, and economic contexts.

Chapter 1 of Worlds of Journalism is available from: https://www.researchgate. net/publication/334490557_Exploring_the_ Worlds_of_Journalism_An_Introduction J


Worlds of Journalism – Journalistic Cultures around the World. Columbia University Press. 2019.

Net meer as 'n halfeeu gelede was ek op pad huis toe na afloop ‘n Abe Bailey-reisbeurs in die VK om met my joernalistieke beroepsloopbaan in Suid-Afrika te begin.

‘n Enjin van Luxavia se Lockheed Starliner het oor die Middellandse See aan die brand geslaan en die vliegtuig moes 'n noodlanding in Madrid doen.

Verlede week was ek die eerste keer weer terug in Madrid. Dié keer nie aan die begin van ’n loopbaan in die beroeps- en akademiese joernalistiek nie, maar aan die einde daarvan.*

Die geleentheid was die bekendstelling by die kongres van die International Association of Media and Communication Research van Worlds of Journalism, die amptelike monografie oor die gelyknamige nuusprojek – die grootste nog in die joernalistiek. Navorsers van 67 lande het deelgeneem en onderhoude is met 27 500 joernaliste gevoer. Navorsers in meer as honderd lande sal aan die volgende fase deelneem.

Ek het die voorreg gehad om as uitvoerende komiteelid die projek se studie in Afrika, asook in Suid-Afrika, te lei en ek was ook een van die redakteurs van bogenoemde boek wat deur Columbia University Press (Chicago) uitgegee word.

Die voorsitter van die ,en eerste redakteur van die boek, is prof. Thomas Hanitzsch van die Ludwig Maximilian-universiteit in Duitsland. Die ander redakteurs is prof. Folker Hanusch (Universiteit van Wene) en prof. Jyotika Ramaprasad (Universiteit van Miami).

Dié boek word onder meer so beskryf:

This book …

… will be a touchstone work for decades to come. It is not an overstatement to say that this book is entirely unique; it is special because of the detailed discussion of national and regional contexts. Worlds of Journalism contributes to the truly global and international perspective of journalism, avoiding normativity and emphasizing diversity using a unique and comprehensive dataset. - Prof. Henrik Örnebring, University of Karlstad.

… provides a kaleidoscopic overview of journalism around the world. Its organization and execution provides a model for comparative research, and its findings raise important questions that are sure to orient future scholarship. Already well-regarded by colleagues, this publication solidifies the Worlds of Journalism project as a leading effort to make sense of the complex realities that journalists around the world confront today. – Prof. Matthew Powers, University of Washington

provides fascinating insights into the attitudes and values of media personnel beyond the Western world. The book is a must-read in journalism research. Prof. Barbara Pfetsch, Free University of Berlin.

Die inleidingshoofstuk van Worlds of Journalism is hier beskikbaar:

‘n Artikel oor die Suid-Afrikaanse deel van die studie is hier beskikbaar:

Hoofstuk 1 van Worlds of Journalism is beskikbaar by: https://www.researchgate. net/publication/334490557_Exploring_the_ Worlds_of_Journalism_An_Introduction J

  • En nou is my akademiese navorsingspad (minstens wat buitelandse projekte betref) wat ek as negentienjarige in 1962 in die Ou Suid-Afrika aan die Puk begin het, iets van die verlede.

Immigrants waiting at Frankfurt Station in 2020.

© iMasa 2020