Journalism History Announces Reilly Award Winner

Betto van Waarden is the winner of the 2023 Tom Reilly Award.

His article, “The Many Faces of Performative Politics: Satires of Statesman Bernhard von Bülow in Wilhelmine Germany,” was the most popular on the Journalism History website in 2022.

He is a senior postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders at the KU Leuven in Belgium. He researches transnationalism, democratization, parliaments, celebrity politics, and the attention economy.

“I am honored to receive the Reilly Award and grateful for its recognition of my efforts to communicate my research to the public, which is an important ambition of mine,” van Waarden said. “The award helps to highlight journalism research on satire and its role in modern politics.”

While historical and contemporary thinkers have described politics as theater, van Waarden’s winning article moves beyond this representation of politics to understand how performance was central to politics around the turn of the twentieth century. It does so through an analysis of a large volume of hitherto unstudied caricatures of the German statesman Bernhard von Bülow.

The Tom Reilly Award recognizes excellence in journalism history research and is the journal’s “People’s Choice Award.” The journal’s Publications Committee created the award to honor Reilly, a former California State University, Northridge, professor who served as the journal’s founding editor from 1974-1985.

“The journal staff has been working to have a greater international presence in our pages, and so it is gratifying to have an article about politics and the media in Germany,” Journalism History Editor Pam Parry said. “I remember this piece well, because we have not published many articles like it. Here’s to the continued broadening of our global reach. So happy our readers liked it.”

Journalism History is the official academic journal of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s History Division. The History Division will recognize van Waarden with the Tom Reilly Award during its Awards Gala at the 2023 AEJMC conference in August.

Journalism History is the oldest peer-reviewed journal of mass media history in the United States and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.

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