Mediated Communication and Media Effects

Communication Science with a Focus on Digitalization and the Public Sphere

Prof. Dr. Edda Humprecht
Mediated Communication and Media Effects
Image: Rainer Sturm/

Welcome to the Professorship of Communication Studies with a Focus on Digitization and the Public Sphere!

In our dynamic digital age, how societies communicate, share, and interact has dramatically evolved. Our research endeavors to understand this transformation, diving deep into the intersections of digitalization and the public sphere.

Key Research Areas:

Digitalization's Impact on the Public Sphere: The shift from traditional media to digital platforms has redefined public discourse. We explore how digitalization shapes collective conversations, reshapes democratic engagements, and reconfigures societal norms. The digital public sphere is both an amplifier of diverse voices and a battleground of conflicting narratives.

Political Communication & Opportunity Structures: We investigate how political dialogues are influenced by various factors across different nations, from governmental systems to cultural norms. By examining these "opportunity structures," we provide insights into the multifaceted nature of global political discourse. Using empirical typologies, we categorize and explain the nuanced differences in online discourses across countries, enhancing our understanding of global digital interactions.

Analyzing Digital Communication Platforms: Communication in the 21st century is vast and varied. We probe into platforms like comment sections, YouTube videos, and news stories to understand the zeitgeist of our times and the digital threads that connect or divide us.

Building resilience: Digital spaces, while enriching, can also be deceptive. We are committed to understanding and countering the challenges of mis- and disinformation, conspiracy narratives, and hate speech to help a resilient public sphere.

Research Methodology: Marrying traditional social science methods with innovative computer-assisted techniques, we strive to ensure our research remains rooted and revolutionary. This blend provides a holistic understanding of the digital landscape, bridging past principles with future possibilities.