Starting point of our Research Programme 1 is the transformation processes of media-based public communication as a consequence of the digitalization of media production, distribution, and usage. Due to the consequential dissolution of boundaries, the once relatively clearly defined types of media and information functions are becoming less and less distinct – from a user perspective, but also from a normative or societal perspective: Next to professional journalism and the traditional mass media, this development has given rise to new actors, algorithm-based intermediaries, and the users themselves, which are becoming more and more influential in the public sphere. This raises the question about possible power shifts regarding the communication system, which – traditionally – mainly serves to enable a public dialogue and contribute to the formation of opinion.
The central conceptual interest of Research Programme 1 is how a public sphere can be constituted under these conditions and how 'public' is negotiated between providers and users. For researching this basic link, it is necessary to look at the intertwining that exist between the production, offerings, behaviour and use of information, and from which we seek to identify derivable differentiations where regulation can draw on in order to secure information functions.
The focus lies on how already established and new providers adapt to the increasing differentiating media environment and media use, the automation and algorithmisation of own work processes but also to the competition by functional equivalent performances of non-journalistic services and providers along with their own audience in the field of journalism. Our objective is to develop a theoretical, conceptual and methodological framework, which allows the differentiation between "journalistic-editorial" services and other communication offers.
Therefore, with regard to media usage, we will examine how people inform themselves, what communicative practices they use and how they put themselves in relation with different public spheres. Thereby, the question arises what functions intermediaries can fulfil compared to journalistic-editorial services in the information repertoire of different groups of users.
The social relevance of observable changes is also high where media-based communication influences or can influence processes of individual and social opinion. So far, basic terms or concepts are missing for determining different forms of influencing communication. The legal term of a "predominating power of opinion" - the basis for the diversity control in broadcasting - is not clear in its single parts, such as the range of the term "opinion", the question concerning the kind of influence and its mediation but also the understanding of "opinion formation processes". Thus, the Research Programme will develop a conceptual framework for the influence on the processes of opinion formation that enables legal concepts to react to the described transformations.
Researcher: Kevin Dankert, Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink, Dr. Sascha Hölig, Lisa Merten, Julius Reimer, Lies van Roessel, Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt, Hermann-Dieter Schröder, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Dr. Lennart Ziebarth
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One of the central goals of public media law is to prevent predominating power of opinion. All the more surprising that there is little consensus as to what it means.
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In the event of terrorist attacks or natural disasters, timely and reliable information is extremely important for media users. In order to find out what information needs people have in such situations and what media they use, a study design was developed with which empirical data can be collected...
An international network of researchers investigates how journalism is created in unusual places or by actors that previously were not predominantly concerned with news production.
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In support of the political discourse on services like search engines and social networking services, this report provides a structured view on information intermediaries and possible approaches of regulating them.
For people with disabilities, participation in society without media is barely feasible. For the first time ever, this study analyses quantitatively their differing use of media, which barriers they are confronted with and what expectations they have.
Unlike its citizens, the state cannot lean on the basic right of free speech when it comes to its communciation. In his PhD project, Tobias Mast exmaines the legal requirements of the state’s communication with its citizens.
This cumulative dissertation project analyses user behaviour with regard to news on social networking platforms.
How can reader comments in news articles be semi-automatically analysed? The SCAN Project will develop a framework that supports journalist to identify and use opinions, topic suggestions or further information in user comments for journalistic purposes.
What is happening with media pluralism within the EU? How do different countries perform in comparison and what risks can be identified? The comparative study “Media Pluralism Monitor” addressed these questions, as commissioned by the European Commission. It eveluated and compared m...
What role does social media play at the 2015 Hamburg state election?
Increasing technical convergence presents media regulation with new challenges and calls into question traditional media law. The report by Winfried Kluth and Wolfgang Schulz gives an overview of problem areas and provides possible solutions, as commissioned by the German states and as a preparation...
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What effects do the internet and social media have on the organisation of journalism, changing audience relationships and news coverage? This project seeks to answer this question within the framework of the planned research association “Transforming Communications.”
How do people combine the different media and communication services and, thus, put together their personal media repertoire? A comparison of nine European countries shows similarities and differences.
News reaches us through many sources and on many devices. The annual study of the Reuters Institute (Oxford) about changing news consumption and the findings for Germany, carried out by the HBI, show international trends and developments.
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An international research network sought to find out what the participation possibilities of citizens mean for journalism and the media system.
The research association “Transforming Communications” examines the effects of current trends in media landscape on the communicative figurations of various social issues.
Commenting, liking, sharing – the audience increasingly gets involved in journalism. On the internet, especially in social media, readers, listeners and viewers can rate, debate and distribute journalistic articles. They can even publish their own content. If and how they actually make use of...
Whether “Swiss Leaks” or the “Panama Papers” – lately, so-called data(-driven) journalism has become a highly relevant form of reporting. This project investigates how this new form of journalism is developing, based on an analysis of journalistic projects that were nom...
In the course of technical media convergence and growing crossmedia distribution of moving images content the boundaries are blurring between as yet clearly distinguishable media and communication services.
How the information repertoires of the German population constitute themselves was examined by the Hans-Bredow-Institut in a pilot study.
Some journalists are increasingly turning into media brands of their own – complementing or even competing with the newsrooms and media titles they work for. In his PhD project, Julius Reimer investigates journalists’ personal branding strategies and critically evaluates this current tre...
A study on cross-media and convergence from the user's perspective by the Hans-Bredow-Institut.