SComS Best Paper Award 2023


The SComS Best Paper Award for 2023 was awarded to Lena Wuergler and Annik Dubied of the University of Neuchâtel for their paper titled "Performing Investigative Identities: How Print Journalists Establish Authority Through Their Texts." The study by Lena Wuergler and Annik Dubied from the University of Neuchâtel analyzes "how print journalists establish authority through their texts."

The authors examined 186 investigative articles by print journalists in French-speaking Switzerland. Their analysis reveals discursive strategies for constructing an investigative identity through identity markers that depict journalists as credible knowledge producers. The findings suggest that these journalists create an investigative identity by adopting a watchdog role, demonstrating an "investigative mindset," asserting specialized skills, and demonstrating rigorous verification procedures. These markers are seen as strategic devices for claiming authority within the profession.

The jury commended the work for exploring a significant research gap in the areas of investigative journalism and journalistic professionalism. The paper highlighted how investigative journalism can assert journalistic authority, a point of considerable importance in an age rife with concerns about misinformation and disinformation. The jurors also praised the exemplary integration of a locally grounded qualitative approach with meticulous analytical precision.

SComS Editor Thilo von Pape and Dominique Wirz from the University of Amsterdam pre-selected six SComS papers and organized a peer-review by independent jurors external to the editorial team, who evaluated the papers' quality. Our gratitude extends to the five jurors: Hannah Früh from HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Werner A. Meier from the University of Zurich, Maija Ozola-Schade from TU Ilmenau, Lilian Suter from ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, and Tobias Rohrbach from the University of Bern.

Update: In a previous version, it was incorrectly written that it was the Best Paper Award 2024. In fact, it is the Best Paper Award for 2023. The year has been corrected. We apologize for the mistake. (May 23, 2024)