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It is an important day for me. The day I received my Ph.D. from the University of Vienna after a wonderful time of hard work with my Professor Dr. Thomas Bauer. „Credible or Pleasant? – A Critical Analysis of Concepts in Theories of Journalism to a Key Dilemma of Social Communication “ is the title my thesis that I wrote in German.

Based on the findings of Cultural Studies-oriented communication theory, the diversity of pleasantness and credibility were described throughout this these focused on Concepts in the Theories of Journalism to a Key Dilemma of Social Communication. In a social educational process, both pleasantness, as well as credibility, drive critical people to get involved. Journalism is undoubtedly a question between pleasantness and credibility.

This study analyzes the communication theory in terms of journalism and answers where is the problem between the tendency to pleasantness and the care for credibility. How journalism theories influence the relationship between credibility and pleasantness, how would it be understood and what role does play the concept of complexity in this context.

This these, therefore, provides the scientific community with a reflection and stimulus on the communication processes, directed to generating knowledge in which journalism research is understood differently: performance is not focused on the success of individual hand but on the networking of many sides. Behind this is Bauer’s communication model, which is understood in terms of cultural theory and anthropology.

In social dialogue, knowledge is generated and discourses are not reduced in their meanings to the linguistics, but rather they are seen as a practice that does much more than just discuss things and creates reality. There are communication science perspectives that can be dealt with even more adequate: the perspective of cultural studies in a conceived communication science society.

As described in this study, the potential of concepts and mechanisms (stereotypes, trust, pleasantness, credibility, media use) can be seen in the example of journalism, and a reflection on the strengthening of these potentials can be made from a cultural point of view.

Behind this is the relationship between communicator and recipient in connection with the knowledge generation, allowing the mechanism of media use in a rich knowledge cycle in which several dimensions are brought into existence. An agreement is a key aspect in this, assuming that both communicator and recipients are ready for it.

The differences and similarities between this study and other scientific works reside in the cultural discussion on the theories about journalism that take place here. In each chapter, knowledge, and communication are the focus of the answered research questions: what are the problematic aspects of the relationship between pleasantness and credibility.

For this purpose, theoretical descriptions were compiled, summarizing the theses of this study. The analysis lies in the knowledge model (Bauer, 2014) and constituted the basis for the identification of weaknesses and strengths of the theoretical approaches used.

The resulting understanding about to what extent journalism can promote or prevent the emancipatory relationship with the recipients is a contribution to the scientific community’s ability to explore and understand communications also outside the usual structures.

News values have slowly become ineffective and the selection criterion almost unnecessary. Classic communication models and approaches (e.g. the Lasswell model, the Uses-and-Gratification Approach and cognitive theories) do not adequately explain today’s media reality. Stereotypes continue to be understood as prejudices and cliches and identified with them.

The conceptualization of pleasantness and the consideration of credibility allow rethinking the journalistic use of news factors and the application of the stereotypes as elements of communication agreement in a cultural context.

Thus, an attempt is made here to make a proposal at theory level for the deconstruction of journalistic work, a step away/deviation from the structured thinking in the use of news factors and an understanding of the stereotype as a thought model of society to reach agreements.


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