Slavko Splichal Wins the Media and Democracy Karol Jakubowicz Award 2023
“Datafication of Public Opinion and the Public Sphere: How Extraction Replaced Expression of Opinion” (London, New York: Anthem Press, 2022) – a recent book by Slavko Splichal received the Media and Democracy Karol Jakubowicz Award 2023. A special Media and Democracy Karol Jakubowicz Award 2023 was awarded to Jolanta Kurska for her book Wieczny powrót Dreyfusa (Eng. Dreyfus: A Perpetual Comeback; Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Akademickie Dialog, 2022).
The Selection Committee argues that the recent book by Slavko Splichal is an excellent example of turning existing studies and empirical data into new critical normative conceptualisations. The monograph “Datafication of Public Opinion and the Public Sphere” explains risks and opportunities for democracy in digital and data-driven societies through an in-depth theory review from a wide range of existing sociology and political sciences. The monograph has a high potential to contribute to media and democracy as the societal contexts of algorithms and data become crucial to understanding the power of high technologies in shaping public discourse and fostering democratic deliberations. At a time when democracy is being challenged, regardless of geography and the traditional divisions between Western and emerging democracies in the Global South, Splichal's book is particularly topical. Moreover, it has successfully transformed a multi-layered analytical approach into a narrative that appeals to everyone.
Photo 1. Book cover of Splichal S. (2022). Datafication of Public Opinion and the Public Sphere: How Extraction Replaced Expression of Opinion. London, New York: Anthem Press.
Slavko Splichal is a Professor of Communication and Public Opinion at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and an associate member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Slavko Splichal is the founder and director of the European Institute for Communication and Culture—based in Ljubljana—and the scholarly journal “Javnost-The Public”. Splichal’s research interests include communication theory, media politics, public opinion, and communication research methods and he is also an expert in examining media and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. Furthermore, Slavko Splichal acknowledges the impact of Karol Jakubowicz’s research in the Prologue, which summarises the author’s longitudinal scientific interests.
Photo 2. Professor Slavko Splichal. Source: The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA).
Moreover, the Selection Committee awards the excellence of “Wieczny powrót Dreyfusa” (Eng. Dreyfus: A Perpetual Comeback), a book by Jolanta Kurska, with a special Media and Democracy Karol Jakubowicz Award 2023. The publication was acknowledged for raising awareness about where the sources of polarization in society lie and as a warning sign that the Dreyfus Affair is universal. Therefore, the Committee notes that the theme of this collection of essays meets the idea of the Award and needs further dissemination.
Photo 3. Book cover of Kurska J. (2022). Wieczny powrót Dreyfusa. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Akademickie Dialog.
The Media and Democracy Karol Jakubowicz Award recognizes original methodologies and the societal impact of scholarly publications in media systems, media policies, media ethics, and public service media in Central and Eastern Europe, and beyond. A full list of this year’s nominees can be found here: Three publications competing for the Media and Democracy Karol Jakubowicz Award 2023.
Dagmara Sidyk-Furman and Michał Głowacki