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Research

Research Projects

Researchers of the Master's program are active in different fields of media research including topics such as "Media and Migration", "Media and Politics" and "International Journalism Education Standards".

Media, Gender and ICTs

Digital Media in the Context of Gender, 2014 - 2015

A research group of IMS students conducted a comparative study regarding online platforms that focus on gender topics. The study was carried out in selected countries of the Global South. To assess the impact of digital information and communication technologies (ICTs) on gender issues, the researchers analyzed how organizations involved in the field apply digital media, and how ICTs enable them to reach their target groups and strengthen their rights.

The study also looked at new fundraising possibilities for these organizations.The study was based on categories of content analysis and interview guidelines developed by the research group. Empirical data was collected in Egypt, Uganda, Argentina and Ukraine.

Titles of Master Theses resulting from the research project:

  • "Die Bedeutung von Webseiten und sozialen Netzwerken für Kampagnen der Sexual- und Reproduktionsrechte. Eine empirische Studie zu genderfokussierten Nichtregierungs-organisationen in Argentinien"
  • "Campaigns of new media and information communication technologies to address sexual harassment: A case study of the non-governmental initiatives ‘Harrassment’ and ‘I Saw Harrassment’ in Egypt"
  • "Enhancing ICT capacities for the empowerment of African women: An explorative study from Uganda"
  • "Feministische Webportale in politischen Kampagnen: Eine qualitative Studie über die Rolle von Femen im ukrainisch-russischen Konflikt"

Media and Politics

How the international press reported on the fall of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, 2013 - 2014

IMS students are studying eight leading international newspapers for the way they covered the fall of Egypt's former president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. The newspapers include the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Guardian and Corriere della Sera.

Eleven students from Brazil, Egypt, Costa Rica, Germany, Colombia and Mexico are examining all articles and photos that focused on Egypt and appeared between June and July 2013. The junior researchers are analyzing the degrees of balance, objectivity and depth of coverage using classical methods of content analysis.

The students come from different journalistic cultures, and heterogeneous groups like this are unusual in media research. The project is part of the IMS "Media and Politics" seminar, enabling students to scientifically conduct research regardless of their different academic and cultural backgrounds.

"We are training future media managers and these days it's more important than ever that they're able to thoroughly understand and analyze facts and situations. Projects like this are aimed at promoting these key skills," says Prof. Dr. Schmidt, Head of the Master's program.


International Journalism Education Standards

Comparative research study on the standards of journalism education in the context of media and development, 2013 - 2015

Strengthening journalism training and education systems with the aim of enhancing free and independent media is a major field of activity of media development cooperation. This has been the case for many decades. Thus the lack of research regarding journalism education in developing countries is astounding. The existing research in this field can be described as focusing on certain industrialized countries – neither delivering much insight about regional differences nor the countries of the South. The counterbalancing of Western perspectives through research in developing countries however, is much needed in a field like the development cooperation in order to assess outcomes and adjust strategies.

The academic research project on International Journalism Education Standards (IJES) was initiated by Deutsche Welle Akademie's International Media Studies program with the goal to fill part of the described research gaps in the field of international journalism education. Its approach is a comparative study of four developing countries in different world regions: Colombia for Latin America, Kenya for Subsaharan Africa, Myanmar for Asia and Egypt for the Middle East. The decision for a comparative approach has been rewarded, since it has allowed the identification of some general tendencies in journalism education – such as a clear trend towards university-level education of journalists, for example.

Furthermore, the IJES study is interdisciplinary, connecting diverse fields like educational sciences, development studies and international media systems with the area of media and communication sciences. The research in the countries has been conducted by researchers of the International Media Studies Master's Program, and in the case of Egypt, by a group of fellow researchers including professors and teaching assistants from the country itself.

The results have been published in a new edition of the series International Media Studies. The publication can be ordered online at VISTAS publishing house.


Media and Migration

International Research Cooperation Project, 2012 - 2013

This pilot research project is part of the Media Program of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC). The study looks at how the press covered migration within a four-week period surrounding recent national or regional elections in five participating countries. The research was conducted in cooperation with the University of King's College (Canada), the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (France), Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (The Netherlands), the University of Missouri (United States) and DW Akademie's International Media Studies program.

The project was coordinated by the UNAOC and the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Expert advice was provided by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; the project was co-funded by the Open Society Foundation.

The project analyzed a selection of articles published by national media outlets containing migration-related terms. They were assessed and coded according to the way they had framed the topics. The national research teams looked at the different types of migrants mentioned and the migration-related topic covered. Overall, some 650 articles published in the five countries during 2012 were identified. Research focused on the French and US presidential elections, the parliamentary election in the Netherlands, and the provincial and federal state elections in Canada and Germany respectively.

The study findings were presented in Vienna at the 5th UNAOC Global Forum, 27 - 28 February, 2013. A summary of the results are available through the EJC's website. A video and a presentation about the project are also available online.

Global Media Forum: Survey

Research Project, since 2011 (annually)

Deutsche Welle's international Global Media Forum has steadily grown since its launch in 2008. In June 2103 more than 2,500 people from 132 nations attended the conference. The forum draws international media representatives and professionals from the fields of politics, culture, business, development cooperation and academia. Together they discuss and design approaches for meeting the challenges of globalization and in which media play a central role. Members from organizations and institutions are involved in panel discussions, workshops and interactive presentations.

Every year IMS students conduct a participant survey among international media professionals and experts. The students develop the questionnaire as part of the research seminar "Empirical Methods" (2nd semester). Research in recent years has focused on the following topics:

  • Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age (2015)
  • From Information to Participation – Challenges for the Media (2014)
  • Education and Media Literacy - Shaping a Sustainable World (2013)
  • The Future of Growth - Economic Values and the Media (2012)
  • Social Media Networks and Human Rights (2011)