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 of the media.
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.
This DFG-funded project investigates risks and uncertainties journalists are facing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as around the globe to better understand the ways in which journalism adapts to and copes with these duresses.
In a pilot study, the Institute examines the use of journalistic automation tools in Germany and analyses the role of “communicative robots” (ComRobs) in the fulfilment of journalistic activities and functions, from an interdisciplinary perspective of journalism research and law.
The Digital Disinformation Hub of the HBI bundles the Institute's research and cooperation activities in the field of digital disinformation.
The legal study commissioned by the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (LfM) identifies risks for individuals and society that can arise through various forms of disinformation and discusses ways to counter them legally.
How do people in Germany keep themselves informed in the digital age - and what does actually stick with them? In a long-term project, the HBI, together with the dpa and other partners from the media, public institutions and civil society, is researching the news literacy of the population under the...
The transfer office “Media and Social Cohesion” is coordinating all transfer and research acitivities of the projects, which the HBI contributes to the “Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt” (FGZ; Research Institute Social Cohesion).
How do people in different social situations use different kind of media? And how do they contribute to the creation of public spheres and social cohesion?
In the light of “fake news” accusations against established media and declining subscription numbers: what does the public expect from journalists, and how do they view their own role in terms of social cohesion?
The institute will provide scientific support for the media conference in the context of Germany's 2020 EU Council Presidency and is analysing in advance the requirements of a modern European information order.
The project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), investigates how journalistic pioneers and pioneer communities envision an ideal future for journalism and, by that, actually shape the future of the field.
How does each individual establish a connection to the public through media and, thus, change the communicative figuration of the public? The project “Public Connection”, financed by the German Research Foundation, seeks to answer these questions as part of the research association &ldqu...
The relationship between journalism and its audience is changing, yielding consequences for what journalists cover and how. The project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), examines the breadth, depth, and diversity of this re-figuration and its consequences.
The international cooperation project investigates how the Internet has changed and will continue to change societies in the USA, Europe and China.
A population survey collects representative data for the first time on the tasks assigned to journalists by the German population. These will then be compared with existing data on the self-perception of journalistic roles.
A representative online survey wants to find out how people inform themselves about weather forecasts, how they understand the information and to what extent they trust the communicated scientific findings.
Eleven German research institutions form the Research Institute Social Cohesion to investigate current social challenges from different perspectives. The HBI examines the role of the media concerning social cohesion.
How to finance investigative journalism best? Varied mixture suceeds!
Is user-generated content on private communication platforms protected by freedom of expression? In her PhD project, Amélie Heldt focuses on the effect of the fundamental right on freedom of expression on the Internet.
Democracy needs information services that provide relevant topics and debates for society. How is the journalistic quality of such information services in the daily media in Germany, Austria and Switzerland?
If Tinder works for dating, why should it not do so for news? In this project, the intuitive principle of Tinder will be applied to journalistic contents. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research promotes the development of an innovative news and information app for the city.
To what extent can algorithmic recommendation systems be part of the own journalistic activity of public service media providers and take the side of (or take the place of) journalistic selection and compilation of information? In a White Paper for the MDR (Central German Broadcasting), the main cha...
The Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) commissioned the Hans-Bredow-Institut with a report on the topic of "Algorithms in Digital Media and Their Influence on Individual Opinion Formation of Users".
Journalists like to use Twitter if they need an easily accessible “voice from the public.” However, do active tweeters not differentiate themselves in terms of their personality structure from the tweeting population? Does the mood on Twitter have little to do with the overall population...
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...
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.
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.
What role do intermediaries like Google, Facebook, YouTube or WhatsApp play when people get informed about social issues or when they form an opinion?
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.
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.
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...
Radio content can nowadays be commented on, rated or shared as well. This also changes the way radio organisations work. By using the example of youth radios, this study examined what listeners and journalists expect from each other regarding forms of participation.
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 Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut, show international trends and developments.
What meaning does the legal term “the public” have in the age of social media and sharehosters, instant messaging and whistleblowing? It’s time for an analysis from a legal perspective.
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 investigated 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.