2006

AR — Media


Kultur-und Programmgeschichte des öffentlich-rechtlichen Hörfunks in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: ein Handbuch [Cultural and Program History of the Licensed Public Radio in the Federal Republic of Germany: A Handbook]. Peter Marchal. 2 vols. München: Kopaed, 2004. 939 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-938028-10-6 (set): EUR 39.80 [05-2-314]

This two-volume handbook covers 80 years of the history of licensed public radio in Germany but it focuses on the period between 1945 and 2004. In addition to summarizing an immense amount of secondary material dealing with a wide variety of topics pertaining to radio programming (the bibliography is more than 60 pages long), the author, and the research team that assisted him, conducted interviews with people who are responsible for programming in German public radio. The coverage of the topic is thorough, but the indexes are weak. There are no qualitative synopses, tables or graphs to summarize the information that is presented, but there is a very detailed table of contents. [wub/ldl]

Lexikon Kommunikations-und Medienwissenschaft [Lexicon of Communications and Media]. Ed. Günter Bentele, Hans-Bernd Brosius, and Otfried Jarren. Wiesbaden: VS, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2006. 337 p. 25 cm. (Studienbücher zur Kommunikations-und Medienwissenschaft). ISBN 3-531-13535-X: EUR 29.90 [06-2-197]

This work relates to and builds upon the handbook Öffentliche Kommunikation [Public Communication] (Wiesbaden, 2003), expanding the scope and adding entries for technical concepts and institutions. The articles are of three types, from short definitions and “see” references, to standard articles of one half to a full column, to more detailed two or three column articles. Only the latter articles have bibliographies, which is odd considering the volume aims to present the knowledge of the entire discipline. Other questionable editorial choices are also noticeable: sporadic etymological explanations, articles in various tenses, masculine and feminine forms applied inconsistently, etc.

That it took so long for the lexicon to come together explains the presence of Internet facts from 1998, but these make a work published in 2006 seem antiquated. Another curious choice is the inclusion of various German-language broadcasters, but no publishers or press titles.

A review of this title cannot ignore the Handbuch Journalismus und Medien [Handbook of Journalism and Media] (see IFB 05-2-311), which appeared in 2005. The Lexikon has over 900 mostly brief articles, while the Handbuch offers only 114, but of much greater depth. The latter lacks a useful index, however. Where both works treat a topic, the Handbuch typically offers better content. The Lexikon is geared toward a bachelor’s-level student, but one could question whether the brief articles provide enough depth even for this level of reader. [wub/dsa]

Medien von A bis Z [Media from A to Z]. Ed. Uwe Hasebrink for the Hans-Bredow-Institut, Hamburg. Wiesbaden: VS, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2006. 411 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-531-14417-7; ISBN 3-531-14417-0: EUR 24.90 [06-2-198]

Although similar in concept and content to the recently published Handbuch Journalismus und Medien [Handbook of Journalism and Media] (see IFB 05-2-311) and Lexikon Kommunikations-und Medienwissenschaft [Lexicon of Communications and Media] (see RREA 12:38), this volumes is aimed more at secondary schools and lay readers, although it could still be useful for students and researchers in the field. 132 concepts, arranged alphabetically, are presented following encyclopedic norms, although the internal organization of the articles is not always evident. The bibliographies list mostly other overviews or introductions and only seldom reference the relevant research literature.

The work has excellent alphabetical and subject organization, but these do not make up for the lack of a detailed index nor the lack of “see” references for synonyms and related concepts. Equally curious is the choice to include surveys of 14 national media systems, while the Internationales Handbuch Medien [International Media Handbook], published biennially by the same institute, offers such surveys, with greater detail, for 40 European and 31 other nations. It would have been preferable to decide clearly to include or exclude all of these portraits, rather than to include a narrow and arbitrary subset. Similarly, the editors chose to include 18 media concerns, without making clear why these firms were selected while others omitted. While it is clear that the depth and level of the articles in this title are different from those of the other works mentioned above, it is worth asking whether these differences are so great as to merit a separate work, not least since the editorial teams are both at or near the University of Hamburg. [wub/dsa]

Bibliographie Public Relations [Bibliography of Public Relations]. Ed. Klaus Merten, Katja Nafroth, and Jasmin Top. Münster: Lit-Verlag, 2005. 335 p. 24 cm. (Aktuelle Medien- und Kommunikationsforschung, 16). ISBN 3-8258-8477-5: EUR 39.90 [06-2-200]

Though not as comprehensive, this volume fills a void left by the Bibliographie der deutschsprachigen PR-Literatur mit Annotationen [Bibliography of German-language PR literature with annotations], compiled by Heinz Flieger between 1983 and 1995. The current work is divided into two sections, the first providing citations in alphabetical order by author and the second organizing the literature into 61 topical areas. The over 3,000 titles included date primarily from between 1987 and 2003. Updates are to be available online from the editor’s database Comdata (http://www.complus-network.de). [wub/dfb]

Qualitative Medienforschung: ein Handbuch [Qualitative Media Research: A Handbook]. Ed. Lothar Mikos and Claudia Wegener. Konstanz: UVK-Verlagsgesellschaft, 2005. 615 p. graphs. 25 cm. (UTB, 8314: Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft…). ISBN 3-8252-8314-3 (UTB): EUR 34.90 [06-2-202]

This handbook, prepared by the Society for Media Education and Communications Culture (Gesellschaft für Medienpädagogik und Kommunikationskultur), presents an impressive overview of the principles, methods, developments, and presentation of qualitative media research. Focused on social research, it is concerned not only with media, but also its use and appropriation in everyday life. The volume contains 55 contributions from 48 scholars and is divided into the sections: (1) Theoretical Background, (2) Research Design, (3) Inquiry Methods, (4) Recording, (5) Validation, and (6) Presentation and Reflexivity. Each contribution consists of 10 to 12, two-column pages. Beginning with a summary of the topic, the chapters treat theory, practice, examples of research, valuations and suggestions. Entries include references and 20 to 30 bibliographic citations. The volume includes a subject index and a comprehensive bibliography. [wub/dfb]

Die ZEIT: Geschichte einer Wochenzeitung 1946 bis heute [Die Zeit: History of a Weekly Newspaper from 1946 to the Present]. Ed. Karl-Heinz Janßen, Haug von Kuenheim, and Theo Sommer. München: Siedler, 2006. 463 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 978-3-88680-847-2; ISBN 3-88680-847-5: EUR 24 [06-2-203]

The weekly newspaper, Die Zeit (i.e. Time, or Times), celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006. That was the occasion for the same publishing house that had already presented a half-century celebratory Festschrift ten years earlier, edited by the respected historian Karl-Heinz Janssen, to put out a revised and expanded version. This edition contains a reprint of the 27 chapters representing the first 50 years, while the additional chapters 28-34 are a continuation by Haug von Kuenheim and Theo Sommer, who is the current publisher of the weekly. Like its predecessor, this edition is sparse, only offering black-and-white pictures. Die Zeit is not only influential in the Federal Republic; it is seen as a liberal voice internationally. It did well before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but even now in unified Germany it boasts the highest circulation among weeklies, around 500,000. Reflecting the perspectives of its editors, the text is essentially an “inner history” of the newspaper. At the same time, it does not avoid criticism or discussions of its competition with dailies such as Süddeutsche Zeitung or Frankfurter Allgemeine. The name index is a good guide to leading collaborators at all levels; unfortunately, the pseudonym coverage is uneven. Evidently the proofs were meticulously checked, since no typos or mistakes are to be found. Janssen first conceived his work as a sort of historical novel, and von Kuenheim and Sommer followed his lead. This means, among other things, that it is difficult to check the sources(as any good newspaperman should). It would be wonderful to know, for instance, if a unified archive exists(which would rise to the level of a national institution), or if individual editors and publishers simply scattered their material into now irretrievably separate venues. As a result, the Festschrift—with its qualities of a historical novel—may have to serve later researchers as a source document. [hab/rdh]

Das Fernsehlexikon: alles über 7000 Sendungen von Ally McBeal bis zur ZDF-Hitparade [The Television Encyclopedia: Every Detail about 7,000 Episodes, from Ally McBeal to the ZDF Hit Parade]. Ed. Michael Reufsteck and Stefan Niggemeier. München: Goldmann, 2005. 1,512 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-442-30124-9; ISBN 3-442-30124-6: EUR 49.90 [06-2-204]

There have been few television encyclopedias in German, except for those dedicated to certain series or genres. It has been more of an American specialty, and thus the authors are introducing a new concept. The 7,000 episodes in the subtitle refer to both East and West German multi-part programming since 1952 with at least three episodes per series. The majority are actually US series that were transmitted from early evening through prime-time. According to the two forewords, this encyclopedia is a nod to childhood memories, nostalgia and party conversations. The articles are quite informative, first offering program data (studio, running time, director, original title, etc.), then more comprehensive summaries of contents. Finally, customized tips for watching are given— such as whether the series is available on DVD. The texts themselves, varying in length from a few lines to a full page, are entertaining, ranging from simply informative to willfully amusing. Unfortunately, there are few references to subtitles, sequels or similar variants. The name index can scarcely make up for it, since well-known writers or actors appear with too many entries, identified only by page number without program titles. A glossary of terms explains network abbreviations and some of the technical terms. A short bibliography points to similar reference works and to monographs on the history of television programming in Germany. Both authors, journalists from the media pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine’s Sonntagszeitung, are professionals who, realizing the vastness of the program offerings, have made an arguably excellent selection. Seeming to contradict their own disclaimers of simple nostalgia fodder, this is much more than a book for those who would rather be watching TV. [wub/rdh]


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