Practitioner’s Perspective: Medialization and Scholarship: A Historian’s Point of View
The article aims at an exemplary assessment of the relationship between academic scholars and the media and public. Paul Nolte, a contemporary historian at the Free University Berlin and noted German public intellectual, embarks on a self-critical analysis of several tensions that shape the field of medialized academia, particularly in Germany. The role of historians in the media and public discourse has traditionally been significant in this country, and has been reinforced by the Nazi legacy and the role of historians (along with social scientists) as public educators in democracy. Tensions arise at least in three dimensions: (1) The role of the “expert” is to be distinguished from that of the “public intellectual”, yet the media are often confused about this. (2) The media tend to focus on individuals and attempt to brand a name, yet scholars have to be aware of the institutional foundation of their work, i.e., their particular university or research institute as a collective enterprise. (3) Media appropriation of scholars and academic knowledge functions along different mechanisms in written outlets (newspapers, magazines, blogs) as opposed to broadcasts in radio and TV.
KeywordsScholarly Work Academic Integrity Public Intellectual Talk Show Current Affair
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