Programme overview

Below is a brief introduction to some of the core papers offered during the specialism year at Hamburg University.

AUDIENCE AND IDENTITES, taught by Prof. Uwe Hasebrink and Ann Mabel Sanyu

Professor Uwe Hasebrink

Media use is, in manifold ways, connected to identity construction. Throughout the last years, research has, in the wake of increasingly multicultural societies, dealt intensively with the roles that media play in the negotiation of local, regional, national and supranational identities.

This seminar is to, on the one hand, theoretically reflect the relations and connections between media use and identity; on the other hand, several empirical examples are to be investigated more closely: we will discuss studies on the role of media for nation building, for the integration of migrants, and for the development of transcultural communities in general and of European identities and public spheres in particular.

JOURNALISM AND ITS AUDIENCE, taught by Dr. Monica Pater and Dr. Wiebke Loosen

Dr. Wiebke Loosen

Dr. Wiebke Loosen

One of the most commonly used metaphors with regard to online media is the changing nature of the sender-reciever relationship. In particular with social media the traditional relationship between the audience and the journalists is under going fundamental change. For instance audience participation has become a relevant source for journalistic research and has an influence on journalists perception of their audience.

Dr. Monica Pater

Dr. Monica Pater

The relationship between journalism and its audience was always complicated, and in a way it is paradoxical: On the one hand, journalism provides a public service and needs an audience. On the other hand, this audience only plays (or should one better say: used to play?)  a subordinate role in everyday newsroom routines. In a lot of (older) studies journalists have been criticized for being geared more to their colleagues than to their audience. Nevertheless, the predominant understanding of the audience’s role within journalism has not been incorporated precisely and with regard to the new conditions of (online) communication.

MEDIA SYSTEMS, taught by Dr. Kathrin Voss

Dr. Kathrin Voss

This course aims at giving a survey of the media systems of the world, including the systems of Europe (public service type), America (commercial type) and other parts of the globe, also including community media. The course will offer descriptions of a wide variety of systems as they are represented by Erasmus Mundus students. The interests and choices of the participants will be respected. Non-German students may present their home system (or any other), Germans have to present a non-German system. Two leading questions will structure the oral presentations: (1) What is unique about the system I present? (2) Where can I locate my system in international classifications? The two short research papers required will also address these two questions.

Furthermore, the growing relevance of comparisons inside communication research will be discussed, topics will focus on comparative methods, generalizations, the development of classifications and finally the generation of comparative theories (like that of “commercial convergence”). At the outset, we will have to clarify, what is presentable and comparable: namely media systems as a whole (including overall legal framework, specific media like the press, broadcasting, online, also economics, politics and culture), and how the different media systems relate to specific aspects (e.g. freedom of the press, media regulation, use of digital media). We will widely discuss the approaches, strategies and practices of comparative media research, its history, its present positions and its future chances. The comparative strategy within communication studies implies several aspects such as a transcultural approach, the logic of comparisons and methods of comparative research. In the end, students will have developed a new understanding of comparative research, based on the experience of at least one system (their own or another), they are able to emphasize its uniqueness and place it in comparative classifications as they have been presented in the course. Also a comparative cross-national study of several media systems is possible.

RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM taught by Dr. Kathrin Voss

In this course you are expected to come up with a research topic, develop the topic in to a question and later on the methodology. Dr. Kathrin Voss constantly refers to Umberto Eco’s book on how to write a Master’s thesis, which contains nuggets of useful information on how to start you thesis step by step.

MEDIA, CONFLICT AND DEMOCRACY, taught by Prof. Dr. Irene Neverla

Course description coming soon…

Prof. Dr. Irene Neverla

Please note that course information can be subject to change. Further course details can be found on the Hamburg specialism page of the Mundus Journalism website.

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