Object of research: Media- and Societal Change

Communication is the central operation of social life and the basis of sociality and cooperation. Today, it is observed most frequently in the form of media communication. The evolution of media can be seen as a central impulse for, but also as a mirror to social change: Media- and Societal Change go hand in hand. Of course, the Digital Revolution does not just mean radical changes in the media system alone. New media technologies permeate almost every part of our day to day life, are changing the fabrics of social relationships, our organizations and how integration is accomplished in our society. The Zeppelin University researches these processes of Mediatization from numerous perspectives. The ZUMG strengthens and promotes interdisciplinary efforts that go beyond the boundaries of scientific fields and serves as a concentration of relevant expertise.

Research Priorities and Questions

The dynamic that was set off through digital communication on a global scale is seemingly boundless. So much so, that its true reach is not yet apparent. Global and social networks establish themselves as worldwide infrastructures for information and communication offside the well-known tracks of Mass Media. Expanding sensory networks are transforming our environment in all-seeing spaces and lead to a new observability and predictability in human behaviour. The ZUMG at Zeppelin University combines the knowledge of our social-, economic- and cultural research departments to analyse and also reshape this profound societal change. Along with questions of information- and knowledge mediation, spheres of societal organization and cultural production are our main concern. Our interest spans over three dimensions:

1. Questions about the structural and cultural development of the “Next Generation” (diversification of ways of life and milieus, societal integration, public communication and the mediation of politics)

2. Questions about the transformation of organizations and institutions set off by the Digital Revolution (changes in structures and processes of informationalized organizations, authorities, associations, political parties and NGO’s)

3. Questions about the level of changes in everyday life in informationalized societal contexts (everday-, work related- and leisure-worlds)

Our Goal: Scientific and Social Innovation

The ZUMG at Zeppelin University is providing excellent research with societal impact in the area of scientific baselines, as well as in the practical application of research.

1. Democracy's and Publics' future

  • Analysis of democratic processes under the condition of networked and real time communication.
  • Debate-, opinion- and participation-forming in hybrid media systems in comparing and international perspective.
  • Questions about openness and transparency

2. The future of media production

  • Structures, processes and success factors of media production in digital media environments
  • Guiding media and media brands: Innovation and media management in convergent media systems
  • Discourses about quality in media
  • Tasks and functions of state-owned public broadcasting
  • “Prod-users”: Democratization of media production: Citizen- and social journalism and „user created content“

3. The future of media reception

  • Media repertoires of individualized media usage
  • Communicative Figurations of societal communication
  • Patterns of media reception: Multiscreen-Usage
  • User Engagement and Gamification
  • Media effects and -psychology

4. Media management and -economy

  • Digital business models
  • Copyright and brand rights
  • Media-, attention- and entertainment economy

5. The future of media politics and -regulation

  • Legal bases of the hybrid media system
  • Cartel rights and broadcast rights: Concerning the justification of independent insurance of opinion-diversity
  • The future of state-owned public broadcasting
  • (new financing models and public value)

6. The Digitalization of society

  • Open Data
  • Open government
  • Big Data and Smart Data
  • Digital knowledge mediation
  • Changes in political communication and organizational communication
Time to decide

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