The Worlds of Journalism Study
The Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) is an academically driven project that was founded to regularly assess the state of journalism throughout the world. The Study's primary objective is to help journalism researchers and policy makers better understand worldviews and changes that are taking place in the professional orientations of journalists, the conditions and limitations under which they operate, as well as the social functions of journalism in a changing world.
In this series of projects I am interested in the way violent conflicts are portrayed by the news media. For one, I believe that the traditional distinction between "war" and "peace journalism" needs to be rethought in conceptual terms. On the empirical level, I am focusing on the conditions of war reporting across media organizations, national contexts and conflict settings. Of central interest is the question of how multiple conditions combined produce - or inhibit - specific kinds of news coverage and narratives of war.
Media and Trust
It is often said that trust in politics and the news media has dramatically dropped throughout the western world. This project is aimed to trace the relationship between the news media, politcal trust and media trust across different cultural contexts. We are focusing, among others, on following questions: To what extent does the news contribute to public distrust in politics? What causes the growing discontent with the media? What is the relationship between political trust and trust in the media?
Celebrity content has made it from the social pages to the front page of even respected newspapers. This study looks at the expansion of celebrity news in German news media and the reasons why audiences believe that celebrity content is worthy of consuming. The general sociological hypothesis behind the project is that as traditional social institutions loose authority to provide collective orientation, celebrity personae serve as role models, helping audiences navigating an increasingly complex world of identity options.
Foreign News on Television
Together with an international team of communication researchers, led by Akiba Cohen, I have studied foreign television news around the world. In this project, we were interested in the selection, presentation, content and consumption of foreign news.
Comparative Research in German Communication Journals, 1948-2005
Carried out in collaboration with my colleague Klaus-Dieter Altmeppen I have conducted a meta analysis of comparative research articles in three leading German communication journals.
Online Journalists in Germany and the United States
Funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the comparative project was carried out in collaboration with David Weaver (Indiana University, USA); Martin Löffelholz and Klaus-Dieter Altmeppen (Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany); and Thorsten Quandt (University of Munich, Germany)