2018 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award to “Political Journalism in Comparative Perspective”

I’m happy to announce that Erik Albæk (University of Southern Denmark), Arjen van Dalen (University of Southern Denmark), Nael Jebril (Bournemouth University) and Claes H. de Vreese (Universiteit van Amsterdam) have received the 2018 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award for their book Political Journalism in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2014).9781107674608

Below is the official announcement of the award from the full award committee, which included Peter Van Aelst (as Chair of the ICA Political Communication Division), Henrik Örnebring (as Chair of the ICA Journalism Studies Division), and myself (as editor of the journal).

2018 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award to “Political Journalism in Comparative Perspective”

It is frequently recognized that political communication research needs to be more systematically comparative to properly understand the interplay between news media and politics and its implications in different contexts. Actually pursuing such comparative research, especially across production, content, and effects, is much rarer. Because it is difficult, hard, and both time- and resource-consuming, we still often fall back on single-country case studies.

Political Journalism in Comparative Perspective is an impressive exception to the tendency to study political communication and journalism in individual countries in isolation.

Combining surveys of journalists, content analysis, and panel surveys of the public, the team behind it analyze several key aspects of the political communication process across a strategic sample of four systematically different high income democracies. The book demonstrates how these different national contexts create different kinds of political journalism, produces different kinds of news coverage of politics, with different implications for the role political journalism plays in democracy.

We are proud to honor it with the 2018 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award on behalf of the journal and the award committee, which this year consisted of Peter Van Aelst (as Chair of the ICA Political Communication Division), Henrik Örnebring (as Chair of the ICA Journalism Studies Division), and myself (as editor of the journal).

This is the fourth year we give the IJPP Book Award, which we have instituted to honor “internationally-oriented books that advance our theoretical and empirical understanding of the linkages between news media and politics in a globalized world in a significant way.”

Books published within the last ten years are eligible for the award, and we had a very strong field of candidates, including a growing number of books focused on political communication and news media outside the high income democracies much scholarship has focused on in the past. This is a real testament to the theoretical creativity, methodological rigor, and growing internationalization of this field of research.

In this very strong field, the award committee agreed that Political Journalism in Comparative Perspective provides a powerful example of what truly comparative research can look like, with clear contributions based on an impressive combination of methods as well as intellectual engagement with work from across media sociology, journalism studies, and media effects research illustrating how political communication research can be enriched by engaging with adjacent and overlapping fields.

The book is also remarkable for its explicit engagement with normative issues based on a clear connection between empirical work and clearly articulated theories of democracy, noteworthy in a field where we often link our work with normative issues, but frequently without making our standards, or their basis, explicit.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating the four authors. The award is simply a way for the community to recognize and highlight their contribution to the field.

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