SComS Best Paper Award 2022


The SComS Best Paper Award for the best paper published in the General Section or a Thematic Section in 2022 is granted jointly to Maija Ozola-Schade, M. A. (Technical University Ilmenau, Germany) for her paper Intergroup relations and media: The effects of media system quality in explaining immigration attitudes published in Vol. 22, Issue 2 and Prof. Dr. Esa Väliverronen (University of Helsinki, Finland), Prof. Dr. Tanja Sihvonen (University of Vaasa, Finland), Prof. Dr. Salla-Maaria Laaksonen (University of Helsinki, Finland), and Prof. Dr. Merja Koskel (University of Vaasa, Finland) for their paper Branding the “wow-academy”: The risks of promotional culture and quasi-corporate communication in higher education published in Vol. 22, Issue 3. Congratulations!

The text by Ozola-Schade puts emphasis on the fact that “attitudes are embedded not only in the notion of intergroup relations, they are influenced by the information environment in which public discourse about immigration is shaped” (abstract).

Jurors found that “[t]he findings of this comparative study are not only extremely important for research on migration, political communication and journalism, but also illustrate how important freedom of the press and democracy are for the quality of a media system and how this can affect social attitudes.”

Väliverronen, Sihvonen, Laaksonen, and Koskel’s paper, being part of the Thematic Section “Changing Communication of Higher Education Institutions” (guest edited by Silke Fürst, Daniel Vogler, Isabel Sörensen, and Mike S. Schäfer), demonstrates “possible repercussions of a quasi-corporate style of communication on the credibility of the university as a higher education institution in a hybrid media environment” (abstract).

This paper convinced the jurors because it is “[m]ethodologically innovatively designed as a combination of content and discourse analysis including professional, journalistic and user-generated content.” Furthermore, “the study contributes to current discussions about the change of science and university communication.”

The SComS editors preselected six published SComS papers together with one member of SComS Editorial Board (Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat) and organized a peer-review with jurors from outside the editorial team who ranked the quality of the papers independently from each other.

Special thanks to this year’s jurors: Prof. Dr. Hannah Früh (HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences), Dr. Constanze Jecker (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts), Dr. Werner A. Meier (University of Zurich), Dr. Alexander Ort (University of Lucerne), Lilian Suter, MSc (ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences), and Dr. Nina Wicke.