The Worlds of Journalism Study was founded in 2010 to assess the state of journalism throughout the world. The study’s main objective is to help journalism researchers, media practitioners and policy makers better understand the worldviews and changes that are taking place in the professional views of journalists, the conditions and limitations under which journalists operate, and the social functions of journalism in a changing world.

A joint effort of researchers from around the world, the project aspires to the highest standards of scientific collaboration and collective publishing. In so doing, WJS has become a driver of comparative research in journalism studies, and an institutional home for those who engage in it. The basic principles of cooperation are formulated in the study’s Statute. The study is hosted at LMU Munich and is funded by multiple organizations.

How do journalists around the world view their roles and responsibilities in society? Based on a landmark study that has collected data from more than 27,500 journalists in 67 countries, Worlds of Journalism offers a groundbreaking analysis of the different ways in which journalists perceive their duties, their relationship to society and government, and the nature and meaning of their work.

A collaborative effort of 40 scholars from around the world, the publication was edited by Thomas Hanitzsch, Folker Hanusch, Jyotika Ramaprasad and Arnold S. de Beer and released in 2019 by Columbia University Press.

The book has received the International Journal of Press/Politics (IJPP) Best Book Award at the 2020 annual meeting of the International Communication Association. The Award honors 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.

WJS 2012–2016

Transformation of Journalism

The second wave of WJS has continued and extended the work carried out through a pilot study in 2007–2011. Breaking all records in comparative media research, the study brought together researchers from 67 countries from around the world. In an unprecedented collaborative effort, the project network interviewed over 27,500 journalists based on a common methodological framework.

The questionnaire elicited views of journalists on several issues journalists and news organizations face today, such as journalism’s place in society, ethics, autonomy and influences on newsmaking, journalistic trust in public institutions, and the transformation of journalism in the broadest sense.

WJS 2021–2023

Journalism’s hostile environment

The third wave of the Worlds of Journalism Study currently involves researchers from more than 120 countries.

The new series of interviews with journalists, to be conducted between 2021 and 2023, will focus, among other topics, on journalists’ safety, deteriorating editorial freedom, influences on news production, the impact of technology, and increased precarization of journalistic labor.

Latest News

On the 5th of July, 2019, about 80 journalism scholars from around the globe gathered in Madrid to found the Worlds of Journalism Study Association.

WJSA is a non-commercial, non-governmental international organization to sustain the Worlds of Journalism Study’s internal workflow and to liaise with partner organizations. According to its Statute, the mission of the Association is to support academic research to assess the state of journalism around the world.

The Association is listed in the association register in the local court in Munich, Germany (no. VR 208297), and is chaired by Professors Thomas Hanitzsch and Neil Thurman, both working in the Department of Media and Communication, LMU Munich.

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Resources for Researchers

As a service to the wider academic community and individuals concerned with the state of journalism around the globe, the Worlds of Journalism Study offers a variety of useful resources:

The website contains detailed documentation of the study’s conceptual background and methodological procedures. Key results of the study are presented in the form of overview tables summarizing journalists’ responses to selected questions and in the form of standardized country reports.

The datasets from the completed two waves of the study (WJS1 and WJS2) are available for download and can be used for secondary analyses.

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New Publications

Hanitzsch, T., Hanusch, F. Ramaprasad, J., & de Beer, A. S. (2019). Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures Around the Globe. New York: Columbia University Press.

Guðmundsson, B. & Kristinsson, S. (2019). Journalistic professionalism in Iceland: A framework for analysis and an assessment. Journalism.

Rollwagen, H., Shapiro, I., Bonin-Labelle, G., Fitzgerald, L., & Tremblay, L. (2019). Just Who Do Canadian Journalists Think They Are? Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Rupar, V., Tejkalová, A. N., Láb, F., & Seizova, S. (2019). Journalistic Discourse of Freedom. Journalism.

Harro-Loit, H. & Josephi, B. (2019). Journalists’ Perception of Time Pressure. Journalism Practice.

International Partners

International Federation of Journalists

Reporters Without Borders

European Journalism Training Association

Culturas Periodístas

Journalism Cultures Africa

WJS Canada

WJS Czech Republic