The course consists of two classes, each of which contributes to the 6 ECTS module of “Media Communication”. Presence and active participation are expected and include reading the general literature as well as engaging in discussions and the like.

Every student is expected to hold a presentation on a given topic (see the list of presentations). The presentations should last for 15 minutes. A follow-up discussion of approximately 10 minutes should be included and moderated. This performance will be graded.

Moreover, students will group up in teams of 5-6 students (depending on the size of the whole group) and work on a project idea throughout the semester. All project ideas should aim at applying to a given (fictional) project fund. Throughout the semester, each group will present their idea twice and hand in their collection of materials and analyses, put together as one project proposal. Feedback will be provided, especially in the final session where we expect an external review partner. Final proposals are due on January 28th, 2020. Every group’s proposal will then either result in a group-specific or individual grade (depending on the students’ will; if grading should be individual, a list has to be attached indicating who did what).

The mean value of both grades (presentation, proposal) will be the grade for all 6 ECTS points.

Ziel des Seminars ist die gemeinsame Konzeptualisierung, Durchführung und Auswertung einer quantitativen Inhaltsanalyse medialer Darstellungen von Suizid, psychischen Erkrankungen und ggf. anderen Gesundheits- und Krankheitsbildern.

Suiziddarstellungen in den Medien kann einerseits eine positive Wirkung im Sinne von Suizidprävention haben. Andererseits können negative Suiziddarstellungen auch schädliche Wirkungen haben und sogar Nachahmungssuizide hervorrufen. In diesem Seminar werden wir zunächst den Themenkomplex „Medien & Suizide“ theoretisch aufarbeiten und Aspekte von gelungener, aber auch suboptimaler oder gar gefährlicher medialer Darstellung von Suiziden erörtern. Im empirischen Teil des Seminars soll ein Codebuch für eine quantitative Inhaltsanalyse von Medienberichten über Suizide und psychische Erkrankungen entwickelt und angewandt werden. Dadurch soll eine Bestandsaufnahme der Darstellung von Suiziden (bzw. psychischen Erkrankungen oder ggf. weiteren, mit Stigmata behafteten Krankheitsbildern) in der deutschen Medienlandschaft erfolgen.

Bitte beachten Sie: In diesem Seminar behandeln wir sensible Themen wie Suizid, Suizidalität, selbstverletzendes Verhalten und psychische Erkrankungen.

This course will offer a critical introduction to digital media activism expanding across the world. There is today widespread enthusiasm about the potential of digital media to empower citizens and enable democratic participation. But recent events of manipulation and control by governments and market have also shown the limits of digital media activism. This course will offer students the opportunity to analyze the highly contested terrain of digital activism, and recognize that digital activism is not a uniform movement but a plurality of tactics and agendas. Rather than celebrating digital technologies as tools for activism applicable anywhere and anytime, the course will challenge the students to interrogate the various conditions that shape contention and claims to social justice. The students will also become familiar with higher order social theories as they illuminate the ways digital media intersect with political cultures. The course will combine theoretical readings with analysis of signature episodes such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street but also less known Internet activism in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Indonesia and other countries.


The course will have a combination of lectures, discussions, classroom activities and film watching, to simulate, in some measure, the promise and limits of digital activism. At the end of the course, students will apply theoretical insights to develop a social media campaign for social advocacy.



·      Class Participation and Questions: 15%

·      Final presentation on social media campaign: 40%

·      Final Paper with theoretical discussion on social media campaign: 45% (3000 words)

Over the past 20 years, social media have transformed the communication landscape by disrupting traditional media industries and creating new opportunities for group action.  Despite many changes taking place on the surface with new platforms and apps showing up daily, the success of these new social tools can be interpreted through a set of enduring innovations and insights.  This course will introduce students to core operative concepts influencing the social impact of digital communications.  During the course, students will work together in small groups to develop and apply a critical perspective to a social media platform idea using the concepts introduced in the course.  This course will be delivered by an experienced digital media researcher, using a media ecology perspective informed by Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan.

Dr. Gordon A. Gow, Associate Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

In this research seminar, taught and assessed in English, we will study so-called ‘robo-news’ or ‘automated journalism’, where news content, including videos, are produced by algorithms. We will learn about the technology (including getting hands-on with it ourselves) and consider the wider implications for media, journalism, and society. The seminar’s research project will be focused around audiences’ and producers’ perceptions of automated journalism (and on the type of content produced using the technology). While there is some published research on consumers’ and journalists’ perceptions, there is still much to discover. We will consider what criteria should be used to assess journalism; how we can find, or create, genuinely comparable examples of human- and computer-made news; and what factors can influence audience perceptions. We will set-up online experiments and analyse and write-up the results. Instruction will also be given on academic writing in English.