Our division mainly focuses on research and teaching regarding the structures, organization, and regulation of society’s communication processes, especially public communication.
From a media economics perspective we analyze the compositions, functions, performances, and strategies of private and public-service media companies which are undergoing rapid changes. Our interests are specifically aimed at the development of online communication (e.g. cross-media strategies, new business models) as well as at societal, economical, and political challenges (such as demographic change, Europeanization or globalization) for media organizations. We perceive media economics to be the segment of communication science which examines the relations between economical, journalistic and political power in terms of a political economy. More precisely, problems of media consolidation, quality and cost competition as well as welfare economics are predominent questions.
Freedom of communication and journalism is of constitutive importance for a democratic society. The assurance of communication and media freedom is therefore the aim and object of our research interest in the field of communication and media policy. This research area deals with issues evolving around the configuration of our media system in analytical and practical ways. It includes political regulation and deregulation as well as new forms of self-regulation in the communication and media sector. In our research and teaching, we mainly concentrate on media policy, media law, and ethical questions. Based on the structures of the German media system, we also analyze and compare the development of media systems in an international context.
In the bachelor´s program "Media and Communication Studies" we offer, among other classes, a continuous lecture on the basic structures of the German media system in which communication policy, media economics, and media law play the main part. Courses like “The Economy of Radio”, “The Regulation of Online Communication” or “Children’s Media Market” complement this main introduction.
The master´s program “Media and Political Communication” focuses on the detailed analysis of structures and regulation of political communication. In our seminars we concentrate, for instance, on issues like deregulation and co-regulation of political communication. We discuss the future of public-service broadcasting in times of media convergence, or debate about structural changes of public spheres.
The main emphasis of our research is placed on the analysis and prognosis of media markets, problems of self-regulation and assurance of quality as well as on questions concerning regulation, especially the regulation of online media. We also conducted a range of research projects lately in cooperation with other research institutes and on behalf of state media authorities. To only name a few, we have analyzed ethical quality criteria for radio programming, the structure of the media economy in the German state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the news coverage on economy in private TV channels (2010) as well as in tabloid newspapers (2011).