Journalists and their Own Bias


Kategorie: General

Campaign Journalism and Fact Checking at the 5th Anifer Journalism Days.

Three successful workshop days were held by these ladies and gentlemen. (© JTI Austria)

The participants of this years Anifer Journalism Days guest at the Salzburger Nachrichten with guest of honor Josef Schöchl. (© JTI Austria)

From July 20 to 22, 2018, the Anifer Journalism Days took place for the fifth time in cooperation with JTI Austria. Under the general topic "Campaign journalism - when journalists become political actors", the speakers Helge Fahrnberger and Yilmaz Gülüm from Kobuk! spent three intensive days with young journalists and journalism students from Austria and Germany.

On the occasion of the five-year anniversary, the former director of the study program and co-founder of this format, Nikolaus Koller, looked back on the past events and their history. The goal was always to recognize innovation, to address current trends in journalism and to enable participants to exchange ideas. Networking and the promotion of good fellowship were as important to the event as substantive debate.

"Good journalism is trying to obtain the best attainable version of the truth.”

With this quote from American Watergate investigative journalist Carl Bernstein, the two speakers opened the workshop, illustrating their view of journalism. Using examples from the tabloid media, they showed the structures and features of campaign journalism. Helge Fahrnberger emphasized how important it is for journalists to repeatedly question their own bias in order not to fall into the trap and become part of a campaign. Fact checking as the order of the day, even if certain media find clear indications of non-knowledge or non-factual facts: "If you read a caption like 'more and more asylum seekers are throwing themselves in front of cars', it is relatively clear that these are not facts", Gülüm pointed out, when insufficient research may be suspected.

In addition to theoretical input, participants also researched possible media campaigns in the course of the workshop in order to present and process these in their own contributions - with the option of publishing the results on the media watch blog by both lecturers at

The weekend was rounded off by an trip to the Salzburger Nachrichten. During a guided tour of the editorial office, as well as the printing center, participants were able to experience the making of newspapers up close and were present at the production during the proofreading of the weekend edition. As guest of honor, Member of Parliament Josef Schöchl accompanied the jubilee round.

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