Research

To date (as of Nov. 2018), the research group has been able to acquire a total of 10 DFG research projects (within the formats Research Group, Priority Programme and Network) as well as 15 research projects from other external funding sources (including the EU, BMBF/DLR, Bundesstiftung Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF), Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (lfm) and Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung (EAB)).

In terms of content, the research projects are oriented towards the following overarching themes: media content and impact, crisis-, health-, risk- and science- communication, migration and (dis)integration.

2018 to 2019: Jena March for Science (JMFS)

Funded by: President of Friedrich-Schiller University Jena & Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung Jena

The project analyses the public perception and communication of the Jena March for Science (JMFS) 2018. In three modules - conceived as a mix of methods - (1) the German-wide journalistic coverage of the March for Science in print, TV and internet, parallel (2) the communication on Twitter (#march forscience) and (3) in a focus group with participants of the JMFS the perception of the event (panel discussion) are systematically analysed.

Project managers: Prof Dr. Georg Ruhrmann, Dr. Lars Guenther

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Dr. Lars Guenther

2014 to 2019: Values and norms as research objects and models in communication science. An integrative research approach

Funded byDeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (English) (DFG ZI 1543/1-1)

Description: Communication science is a social science that is strongly influenced by normative boundary conditions that society brings close to it. The current media change and the new possibilities of public communication require the discussion and reflection of the norms and values of the subject. This reflection is the goal of the DFG network "Values and Norms as Objects of Research and Missions in Communication Studies. An integrative research approach". Its aim is to make an innovative contribution to basic research in communication science.

Within the framework of the scientific network, the participating young researchers exchange values and norms in communication science in an interdisciplinary manner and develop an integrative, multidisciplinary research approach. The aim is to record, compare and systematise values and norms in communication science. To this end, the network members conduct a systematic review of relevant communication science publications from 1970 to 2014 and work out their central normative assumptions and models. In this way, long-term developments can be recorded and trends in research fields can be identified. In addition, the methods and instruments used in the publications are recorded. In this way, the network also contributes to the methodological standardisation of the subject.

Project managers: Dr. Arne Freya Zillich (FSU Jena), Dr. Claudia Riesmeyer (LMU München)

Project associates: Prof. Dr. Heinz Bonfadelli (Zürich), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Donsbach  (Dresden), Prof. Dr. Barbara Thomaß (Bochum), Dr. Stephanie Geise (Erfurt), Prof. Dr. Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw (bis 2018, Hamburg), Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Klinger (Berlin), Dr. Melanie Magin (Trondheim), Dr. Kathrin Friederike Müller (Münster), Dr. Cordula Nitsch (Düsseldorf), Dr. Senta Pfaff-Rüdiger (bis 2016, München), Dr. Liane Rothenberger (Ilmenau), Dr. Christina Schumann (Ilmenau), Prof. Dr. Annika Sehl (München), Dr. Cornelia Wallner (München)

For the homepage of the network click here!

2013 to 2015: Communication of evidence of bioscientific future technologies

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) im DFG-SPP 1409 "Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit"

Description: Public communication on science and new technologies involves actors from science, industry and industry associations as well as media audiences. The aim of a new DFG project at the IfKW is to show how and with what rationality these actors describe and explain the evidence of bioscientific future technologies. Lars Günther and Georg Ruhrmann are working closely with their partner team from the University of Koblenz-Landau as part of the DFG priority programme (SPP 1409) "Science and the Public". The funding period is 24 months.

Further information on the DFG Priority Programme "Science and the Public" is available at wissenschaftundoeffentlichkeit.de.

Project managers: Prof Dr. Georg Ruhrmann (FSU Jena); Prof. Dr. Michaela Maier; Dr. Jutta Milde (Universität Koblenz-Landau)

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Lars Günther, M.A.

2011 to 2013: Communication of scientific evidence in the field of nanotechnology and its impact on media recipients

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) im DFG-SPP 1409 "Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit"

Description: The project compares how journalists and other communicators deal with uncertain and contradictory scientific findings when communicating about future technologies. What reactions do they expect from their recipients and how do they take these aspects into account when selecting and presenting the topic of nanotechnology in the media? An analysis of selected media contributions on nanotechnology, a recipient survey and reception experiments round off the investigation of the entire communication process.

Project managers: Prof Dr. Georg Ruhrmann (FSU Jena); Prof. Dr. Michaela Maier; Dr. Jutta Milde (Universität Koblenz-Landau)

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Lars Günther, M.A.

The DFG Priority program "Science and the Public: Understanding Fragile and Conflicting Scientific Evidence":

The Priority Programme (SPP) "Science and the Public: Understanding Fragile and Conflicting Scientific Evidence" is one of the DFG's current 110 Priority Programmes. It was launched in 2009 and investigates the tension between science and the public and the mediating function of journalists in the process of science communication. In recent years, the opportunities for science communication have changed enormously: Mass media and modern information technologies offer the public access to a wide variety of science-related information. However, this wealth of information has blurred the boundaries between lay and specialist knowledge. The 16 projects involved in this SPP shed light on how communicators, the media and lay experts deal with the fact that scientific findings are fragile on the one hand and can also be controversial on the other. The aim of the programme is to empirically investigate the conditions and processes of the basic understanding of scientific evidence gathering and evidence preservation by the public (i.e. by laypersons) and to develop theories on the scientific understanding of laypersons. On the basis of the study results, design principles for the communication of science-related information will be developed.

Further information on the DFG Priority program "Science and the Public" is available at wissenschaftundoeffentlichkeit.de.

2011: Pandemic: public perception of health risks and consequences for risk and crisis communication

Funded by: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Bonn and Researchforum Öffentliche Sicherheit at FU Berlin

Publication: Ruhrmann, G., Günther, L. & Milde, J. (2011). Pandemie: Wahrnehmung der gesundheitlichen Risiken durch die Bevölkerung und Konsequenzen für die Risiko- und Krisenkommunikation. Berlin: Forschungsforum Öffentliche Sicherheit (= Schriftenreihe Sicherheit Nr. 7).

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Lars Günther, M.A.; Dr. Jutta Milde

2009 to 2011: Understanding fragile and controversial scientific evidence in media and recipient frames using TV science magazines as an example

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in DFG-SPP 1409 "Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit"

Description: The aim of the project is to show how journalists present fragile and conflicting scientific evidence in the media and how recipients understand it. Using the example of molecular medicine and similar topics, it will be analyzed how TV science magazines present evidence in different frames and how recipients reconstruct or interpret it. On the basis of these results, principles of content and form can then be derived which can optimise the communication of science-related information. First results are expected in summer 2010.

Project managers: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Prof. Dr. Michaela Maier (Universität Koblenz-Landau)

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Dr. Jutta Milde; Lars Günther, M.A.

2008 to 2010: Threat on the (media) agenda crisis communication in the news process

Funded by: Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF)

Description: In certain phases of international crises, the media emphasize negative news factors and frames, thus accentuating political communication. The pressure on decision-makers and communicators in foreign and security policy to act is growing. The central research question of the project is to analyse empirically how politics and the media take international crises into account or provide them with news value and thus influence them. The project combines content analyses of press releases, press and TV news with surveys of journalists, political and military decision-makers and recipients. A complex methodical design shows how the dynamic interplay between political, military and media actors can give rise to messages that are perceived as risk factors by decision-makers in foreign and security policy - they are regarded as triggers of crises.

Project managers: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Prof. Dr. Michaela Maier (University Koblenz-Landau)

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Dr. Arne Freya Zillich; Roland Göbbel, M.A.

2006 to 2008: Migrants in the media - appearance and effects of semantically and stylistically distorted representation (International Research Group Discrimination and Tolerance in Intergroup Relations)

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Description: The project aims to contribute to the investigation of the influence of media on the emergence and maintenance of prejudices. The focus will not be on the importance of explicitly communicated stereotypes and prejudices, but on the semantic and stylistic design of news reporting about migrants and their effects on the prejudices of recipients. Two main objectives are pursued more precisely: 1) The coverage of migrants in newspaper reports and television news will be analysed with regard to its prejudice-friendly, semantic and stylistic form. 2) The consequences of such semantic and stylistic representation of the reporting on migrants on the prejudices of recipients will be examined. Two factors have to be considered as the framework conditions for the pursuit of the main objectives: the activation of social categories and the attitude of recipients towards migrants. The work programme includes an analysis of television and press material to capture linguistic and stylistic distortions and the arrangement of references that activate social categories. The aim is to analyse the reporting in terms of its potential, to confirm or maintain prejudices. On the other hand, several experiments are planned to investigate the impact of reporting on the prejudices of recipients and their reconstruction of messages.

Project managers: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann, Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg (Institut für Wissensmedien, Tübingen)

Contacts: Dr. Denise Sommer, Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

2007 to 2008: The value of news values. Content analysis continued in 2007

Funded by: Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (LfM)

Description: The aim of the project is to describe how and from which events messages become. Topics of the TV news and news factors are examined. In addition, the influences of the news factors on the news value will be determined. In addition, the project makes it possible to empirically track long-term changes in German TV news.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Publication: Der Wert von Nachrichten im deutschen Fernsehen

2005 to 2007: Reception of media by natives and foreigners

Funded by: Landesbeauftragte für Ausländerfragen bei der Staatskanzlei des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz, Redaktion SWR-International, SWR-Medienforschung

Description: The aim of the basic project is to analyse the judgments of German and foreigners in the reception of migrant reports from German TV news programmes. For the first time, it will be shown how both residents and migrants as TV viewers structure their views on migrants. So far, only a few studies exist that explore the impact of reporting on the audience in addition to the analysis of migrant reporting. Moreover, these studies are limited exclusively to the German public. By contrast, it is largely unknown how migrants in Germany follow the debate of German citizens about foreigners, the so-called migration discourse. The effect of certain representations of migrants on the memory and judgment of recipients is examined. In addition to their own preliminary studies, the project also examines news research and the assumptions made about contact mediated by the media.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Dr. Denise Sommer, Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

PublicationFaltblatt Bericht Medienrezeption von In- und Ausländern

2006 to 2007: Changes in news factors and effects on journalistic practice in Germany

Funded by: netzwerk recherche

Description: The production of television news has continued to commercialize strongly over the past two decades. Television news is increasingly developing into a service. The importance of images in news production is becoming more important.
Two surveys of leading German news editors were carried out. The study also included relevant findings from news factor research. According to the interviewed journalists, the news factors personalisation, controversy and aggression are increasing. Previous content analyses had also already revealed this: TV news does not show conflicts, but pictures of personalised violence. The unanimous finding of the newsmakers was that there are "more emotional images". This means that without pictures, important topics no longer become news.

A parallel analysis of journalist textbooks on the topics of news selection and relevance criteria confirms this: The training of journalists in Germany is normatively oriented. Economic backgrounds of the German television market are rarely mentioned; changed relevance aspects are hardly mentioned. In addition, the results of empirical research and international comparisons are only treated marginally in the handbooks examined.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Roland Göbbel, M.A.

Publication: netzwerkrecherche.de

2002 to 2006: Molecular Medicine and Television

Funded by: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Bonn

Description: The overall goal of the project is the systematic quantitative and qualitative content analysis of the representation of molecular medicine on German television and its reception by the German population. One focus is the investigation of selected scientific magazines that have been produced in recent years - with the exception of smaller ARD stations - by almost all German public and private commercial television stations. The presentation and evaluation of the Human Genome (diversity) project as well as the technique of artificial insemination, among other things as a prerequisite for preimplantation diagnostics (PID), are analysed empirically.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Dr. Jutta Milde; Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

2002 to 2005: News selection and impact of reporting on migrants
(International Research Group Discrimination and Tolerance in Intergroup Relations)

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Description: The aim of the project is to show how experts and supra-regional quality newspapers as well as television news and news recipients structure their views on migrants. The topic also includes statements on the conditions and consequences of xenophobia, discrimination and violence. The question is which selection structures and criteria the media use to select and present the topic. In a longitudinal section, content analyses of two supra-regional quality newspapers (FAZ, SZ) and of main news programmes of ARD, ZDF, RTL and SAT.1 will be carried out. The content analytical categories will be coordinated with four social and developmental psychological projects of the DFG research group Discrimination and Tolerance in Intergroup Relations. Finally, a representative survey will determine how the recipients reconstruct the TV news reports and newspaper reports presented to them on the topic of migration and link them with their background knowledge.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Dr. Denise Sommer; Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

2004 to 2005: The value of news values. Content analysis continued 2004

Funded by: Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (LfM)

Description: The aim of the project is to describe how and from which events messages become. It examines changes in the production of TV news, news topics and news reception. Do accentuated and/or even new and novel news values emerge? The project provides in-depth insights into the changed structure and function of television news in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contact: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Publication: Der Wert von Nachrichten im deutschen Fernsehen

2001 to 2004: Multimedia-Competence

Funded by: Thüringer Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur (TMWFK, Erfurt)

Description: The aim of the project is to implement multimedia in teaching (e.g. teleteaching), online journalism and PR (e.g. electronic publishing) as well as in empirical media analysis (TV structural analysis) and impact research (CATI surveys, target group analyses). The instrumental-qualifying and creative competences of students and teachers are thus expanded and strengthened.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contact: Dipl.-Psych. Thomas Olbrecht

2002 to 2003: Trust in the media. Structures, reasons and consequences of trust in media-mediated public communication, especially journalistic communication.

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Description: The project serves to empirically test and further develop a theory of trust in public, especially journalistic, communication mediated by the media. One focus is on the development of a new standardized survey instrument, which will then be used in three representative telephone surveys with repeated measurements. A particular concern is the examination of a theoretically derived factor model of journalistic trustworthiness and the determination of reasons for trust. In addition, the consequences of different levels of trust in the media are to be recorded. An important project is to derive concrete action orientations for journalists from the results.

Project manager: Dr. Matthias Kohring

Contacts: Dr. Matthias Kohring; Dr. Jörg Matthes

2000 to 2002: Life Sciences in European Society: Towards the 21st Century

Funded by: Europäische Union (LSES)

Description: The research project "Life Sciences in European Sciences: Towards the 21 Century" (LSES) is funded by the European Union within its 5th Framework Programme "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources". From the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2002, around 25 scientific institutions from 15 European countries, Canada and the USA worked together in LSES to achieve the common goal of analysing the public perception and political regulation of modern biotechnology on an international comparative basis. The project is led by the London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition to the Friedrich Schiller University, the Academy for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg is also involved on the German side.

Project managers: Dr. Matthias Kohring; Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contact: Dr. Matthias Kohring

2001 to 2002: The value of news values

Funded by: Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (LfM)

Description: The aim of the project is to describe how and from which events messages become. It examines changes in the production of TV news, news topics and news reception. Do accentuated and/or even new and novel news values emerge? The project provides in-depth insights into the changed structure and function of television news in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann

Contacts: Dr. Jens Woelke; Prof. Dr. Georg Ruhrmann; Dr. Michaela Maier; Dipl.-Germ. Nicole Diehlmann

Publication: Georg Ruhrmann, Jens Woelke, Michaela Maier, Nicole Diehlmann: Der Wert von Nachrichten im deutschen Fernsehen. Ein Modell zur Validierung von Nachrichtenfaktoren, Opladen (Leske+Budrich) 2003. LfM-Schriftenreihe Medienforschung, Bd. 45.

2001: The picture of foreigners in the Thuringian daily newspapers 1995-1999

Funded by: Freistaat Thüringen

Description: Thuringia is home to around 30,000 foreigners (1%) among the nearly 2.5 million German inhabitants. However, there is a widespread opinion that the media pay too much attention to foreigners. One also hears, however, that foreigners do not get enough public attention. How are the foreigners living here represented in the published opinion? In order to gain a representative picture, a content analysis of all editorial contributions on foreigners or foreigner-related topics in the press was carried out for the first time in this federal state.

1999 to 2001: Evaluation of TeleTeaching in the joint materials science course at the Universities of Ilmenau, Jena and Weimar

Funded by: Freistaat Thüringen

Description: In order to establish and develop new interactive forms of learning and teaching, the "Werkstoffwissenschaften" (Materials Science) integrated study course was established in the state of Thuringia, a cooperation between the TU Ilmenau, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Bauhaus University Weimar. Besides the development of the technical platforms, it was of interest how learners and teachers adapt to these new forms of studying and what consequences this development has on different aspects of teaching (improvement of cognitive motivations, preparation and follow-up of teaching content, development of teaching content, time management, interaction in learning groups).

1999 to 2001: Science Communication Project University Journal

Description: The aim of this student project seminar was the comparative analysis and evaluation of university newspapers. The aim was to provide those responsible for university public relations with information and, ideally, recommendations that they could use to assess, confirm or improve their own work. The study was first and foremost focused on the practical needs of university PR.

To publications...

1998 to 2001: Presentation of genetic engineering in the media. Between information and entertainment

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Description: The overall project objective was the analysis of genetic engineering representations in various forums of public communication with the help of a multi-method design. One focus was the content and reception analysis of media orientation offers in the field of tension between information and entertainment.

To publications...

2000: Attitudes towards television in East and West Germany

Funded by: IP Deutschland

Description: A conspicuous phenomenon is the different television behaviour of German citizens in the old and new federal states. The East German population prefers the private channels, especially their entertainment offerings.

To publications...

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