Special Issues

  • Special Issues

    ZeMKI members regularly publish special editions of scientific journals as guest editors

Download the call here.



Mediatization research has long been concerned with the interrelationship between the transformation of media and communication on the one hand, and culture and society on the other (Bolin & Hepp 2017; Couldry & Hepp 2013; Ekström et al. 2016; Hjarvard 2013; Krotz 2009). With the spread of “communicative AI” (Guzman & Lewis 2020) – understood as AI-based systems whose function is to communicate with humans (Esposito 2022) – we are currently experiencing the beginning of yet one more change to our media environment. The foundations of this change can be seen in the emergence of “social bots” (Gehl & Bakardjieva 2016) on various platforms, the spread of “artificial companions” such as Apple Siri or Amazon’s Alexa (Thorne 2020), the algorithmic response suggestions (Hancock et al. 2020), or the “work bots” (Hepp 2020) that produce automated journalism (Diakopoulos 2019; Loosen 2018). A further technical boost to all this is the recent development of ChatGPT and GPT-3.5. The increasing success of machine learning and other AI technologies suggests that this is merely the first step toward the automation of communication (Gunkel 2020; Taipale & Fortunati 2018).

Against this background, it seems obvious that research into mediatization and human-machine communication enters into a dialogue that, in the best case, mutually enriches empirical research and the theoretical discussion, helping us to better understand the current changes to media and communication and their consequences. This Special Issue aims to create a starting point for just such a dialogue. The objective is to discuss the following questions based on empirical studies and theoretical considerations:

  • To what extent do current phenomena of automated communication represent mediatization re-asserting itself?
  • How can approaches to and theories of HMC and mediatization research mutually relate to and enrich one other?
  • What will be the consequences to theorizing media and empirical research?

For more information or questions, please contact Andreas Hepp (ahepp@uni-bremen.de).

Keywords: Human-Machine Communication, Mediatization, communicative AI,

Deadline: Submissions are due March 15th, 2023, and the publication will be in September, 2023. All manuscripts should be submitted via the journal’s online submission system (https://hmcjournal.com) with the remark, “Special Issue” in the cover letter. In the online submission system, there will be a drop-down menu under Document Type. Please choose “Special Issue Submission.” For formatting and length specifications, please see the journal’s Instructions for Authors.


  • Göran Bolin (Södertörn University)
  • Andreas Guzman (Northern Illinois University)
  • Andreas Hepp (ZeMKI, University of Bremen)
  • Wiebke Loosen (Leibniz Institute for Media Research)


Bolin, G., & Hepp, A. (2017). The complexities of mediatization: Charting the road ahead. In O. Driessens, G. Bolin, A. Hepp, & S. Hjarvard (Eds.), Dynamics of mediatization (pp. 315-331). London: Palgrave.

Couldry, N., & Hepp, A. (2013). Conceptualising mediatization: Contexts, traditions, arguments. Communication Theory, 23(3), 191-202.

Diakopoulos, N. (2019). Automating the news. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Ekström, M., Fornäs, J., Jansson, A., & Jerslev, A. (2016). Three tasks for mediatization research: contributions to an open agenda. Media, Culture & Society, 38(7), 1090-1108.

Esposito, E. (2022). Artificial communication. Cambridge: MIT.

Gehl, R. W., & Bakardjieva, M. (Eds.). (2016). Socialbots and their friends: Digital media and the automation of sociality. London: Routledge.

Gunkel, D. J. (2020). An introduction to communication and artificial intelligence. Cambridge: Polity.

Guzman, A. L., & Lewis, S. C. (2020). Artificial intelligence and communication: A Human-Machine Communication research agenda. New Media & Society, 22(1), 70-86.

Hancock, J. T., Naaman, M., & Levy, K. (2020). AI-Mediated communication: Definition, research agenda, and ethical considerations. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 25(1), 89-100.

Hepp, A. (2020). Deep mediatization. London: Routledge.

Hjarvard, S. (2013). The mediatization of culture and society. London: Routledge.

Krotz, F. (2009). Mediatization: A concept with which to grasp media and societal change. In K. Lundby (Ed.), Mediatization: Concept, changes, consequences (pp. 19-38). New York: Peter Lang.

Loosen, W. (2018). Four forms of datafied journalism. Journalism’s response to the datafication of society. Communicative figurations working paper, 18, 1-10.

Taipale, S., & Fortunati, L. (2018). Communicating with machines: Robots as the next new media. In A. L. Guzman (Ed.), Human-machine communication (pp. 201-220). New York: Peter Lang.

Thorne, S. (2020). Hey Siri, tell me a story: Digital storytelling and AI authorship. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, doi:10.1177/1354856520913866


Special Issue Editors
Christian Katzenbach (Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research, University of Bremen; Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin)
Christian Pentzold  (Department of Communication and Media Studies,  Leipzig University)

Automation has momentum. Automation is a defining feature of today’s societies. Automation converts the production of content, the distribution of information and messages, the curation of media use, and the governance of our networked lives into machine operations. All of these areas are increasingly shaped by algorithmically-driven processes and automated agents. They help to automate the selection and filtering of news feeds and search engines, they attribute relevance and popularity, perform content moderation and fact-checking. Automated agents like social bots participate in organizational communication such as customer service and, as a potential force of manipulation, also seem to intervene in election campaigns. As of today, innovations in smart companions and artificial intelligence are driven by ambitions to delegate physical motoric functions, cognitive processes, decisions, and evaluations to increasingly autonomous and capable technology. This is not a one-way transfer from humans to machines. Rather, we also witness environments where people come to act in an automatic fashion, where human contributions feed into processes of automation and help to improve them. 

In consequence, the special issue of New Media & Society aims to study how subjectivity, autonomy, agency, and empowerment become defined and reconfigured in these novel human-machine encounters. We invite contributions that take issue with the conditions and consequences of automation and offer critical perspectives on the transition of human activity into machine operations.

Because automation, and the related processes of digitization, datafication, and algorithmization, are set to redefine most if not all sectors of society, they have become a research interest across the academy. We are especially interested in submissions that shed light across these themes:

Contexts: The ideology, infrastructures, and procedures around automatisation have a long history of mechanical inventions that implicate expectations of efficiency and enhancement but also engender fears of alienation and inorexable domination. What are the dominating sociotechnical imaginaries around automation? Inquiries into automation open up a broad array of topics from the history of ideas around human capabilities and machine capacities via political or economic arguments about the implications of automation on prosperity or democracy up to ethical, legal, and technological challenges. Hence, possible questions are: Can there be alternative visions for automation? What is to be learned from historical moments of people protesting and refusing the automation of labor and life?

Consequences: Automating communication affects and involves a variety of actors: when algorithms produce content this changes the effort and role of journalists. So we for instance ask: How do media actors engage with algorithmic content production? How does automated communication affect media use and media effects? Are journalists “gaming” the algorithms of platforms, and how? Who creates the tools and affordances that automate communication—and under which conditions? What happens when low-wage employees execute highly automated tasks, partly in order to mimic algorithms and artificial intelligence (“fauxtomation”)? New and (semi-)automated actors such as trolls, connected activists, and social bots alter the strategies of campaigning and the way parties and other organizations plan their activities. Who are these actors, and are they actors at all? Who can be held accountable for automated communication? Does automated communication cause dissonance and disrupt public spheres, and if so, how is this happening and can automation be a cure as well? What are challenges and possible solutions for regulation and media policy?

Critique: The story of automating communication can be told from two perspectives: the few who are shaping, designing, programming and implementing automation technologies, and the many who are using and become part of automated communication. In this regard, automation raises questions of power and power relations. Automating core features of democracy such as the assignment of relevance and legitimacy to issues, actors, and specific content, based on data and algorithms controlled and operated by a few private companies challenges notions of transparency, due process, and legitimacy. What are the regulatory measures to curb this power? And can automation provide meaningful answers to social problems? What is the impact of the increasing automatic detection of content deemed illegitimate (e.g., hate speech, copyright violation, nudity) in social media and comment sections? What is the role of datafication for automated and automating communication?

Studying automated communication often involves computational methods and trace data. But qualitative methods such as ethnography, interviews or observations can also help us to understand how automation comes about and actors use or make sense of automated communication. Particularly research focusing on social media platforms faces severe challenges of data access and data management nowadays, dealing with data protection regulation, privacy issues, and proprietary data. Analyses of automated actors, such as bots, rely on black-boxed tools and call for interdisciplinary approaches. We thus also invite submissions with a critical perspective on research methods and research ethics. 


1,000 to 1,500 word abstracts should be submitted by June 15, 2022 via the submission form at https://forms.gle/3Kxrf2wNrpqVaGno8. The abstract should articulate: 1) the issue or research question to be discussed, 2) the methodological or critical framework used, and 3) the expected findings or conclusions. Feel free to consult with the Special Issue Editors about your article ideas and potential angles or approaches. 

Decisions will be communicated to the authors by September 15, 2022. Invited paper submissions will be due March 1, 2023 and will be submitted directly to the submission site for New Media & Society: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/nms where they will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of New Media & Society. Please note that the invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee acceptance into the special issue. 



Christian Katzenbach, katzenbachprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Christian Pentzold, christian.pentzoldprotect me ?!uni-leipzigprotect me ?!.de

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Call for Papers for a Thematic ​Issue in the International Journal of Communication

Guest-edited by:


In their 1996 publication of the same name, Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron characterized what they called the “Californian ideology” as a combination of “the free-wheeling spirit of the hippies and the entrepreneurial zeal of the yuppies” (Barbrook & Cameron 1996: 44). At its core, this Californian ideology is defined by the notion of a society characterized simultaneously by libertarian markets, alternative ideas of community and individual freedom—shaped by technology more than other social forces. Such notions were driven by networks such as those that emerged around the Whole Earth Catalog, and later, Wired magazine (Turner 2006), which communicated these ideas far beyond the American West Coast. Many of today’s platforms and digital infrastructures, which drive the current “deep mediatization” (Hepp 2020) of society, were created in the spirit of such an ideology, supported by ideas of “global scalability” of once found "technical solutions”.

At the same time, there were groups early on that seem to be opposed to such ideas. Examples of this are the Hacker, Open Source, or Civic Hacking movements, which are interested in critically questioning tendencies of commercialization. Such groups exert their influence by developing alternative “sociotechnical imaginaries” (Jasanoff & Sang-Hyun 2015) about possible futures – thus creating a space of possibility. However, if one also looks at emerging communities today such as the Maker, Quantified Self, or Biohacking movements, it becomes evident that many “alternative” imaginaries are closely interwoven with the Californian ideology. On closer inspection, the boundaries do not appear to be so easily drawn; there are manifold connections, fractures, affinities, and differences in the various communities.

Against this background, the aim of this special issue is to look at different technology-oriented communities and to ask what “alternative imaginaries” of a deeply mediatized society they develop as well as what their possible impact on future developments might be.

Submissions should address questions like these:

  • What imaginaries of possible futures are tech communities developing?
  • In which areas are they experimenting and which future developments are they opening up?
  • Where is a Californian ideology reproduced in the practices and discourses of these communities?
  • How does the departure to other models and concepts of technological development succeed?

Formatting and Requirements

To be considered for this collection, a paper should range between 6,000 and 8,900 words (all-inclusive, which includes the abstract, keywords, images with captions, footnotes, references, and appendices, if any) must be submitted by October 31, 2021 to the editors and adhere to the following formal requirements:

  • Formatting according to the most recent version of the APA style-guide (including in-text citations and references).
  • Any endnotes should be converted to footnotes.
  • Papers must include the author(s) name(s), title, affiliation and email-address. (Your paper will subsequently be anonymized for double-blind peer review.)
  • All articles should include an abstract of 150 words.
  • All spelling must be rendered in American English. To change British or Commonwealth spellings to their American equivalents, please see the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
  • See “Author Guidelines/Submission Preparation Checklist” at https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

Any papers that do not follow these guidelines will not be submitted for peer review.

The International Journal of Communication is an open access journal (ijoc.org). All articles will be available online at the point of publication. The anticipated publication timeframe for this Special Issue is October 2022.

Contact Information

All submissions should be uploaded to https://cloud.medlab.host/s/pt43t39ZrHtXcnD by October 31, 2021. Late submissions will not be included for consideration.

Special Issue of "Political Communication" on the topic "Computational Political Communication: Theory, Applications, and Interdisciplinary Challenges"

Special issue editors: Yannis Theocharis (University of Bremen, Germany), Andreas Jungherr (University of Konstanz, Germany)

Digital communication has opened up completely new avenues for social and political interactions that have radical effects on political information environments and the democratic attitudes and behaviors they shape. It has also helped advance the analytical toolkit available to communication scholars, with new data and methodological approaches, often labeled Computational Communication Science (CCS). The goal of this Special Issue (SI) is to foreground the theoretical, empirical, and institutional opportunities and challenges of CCS that are relevant to the political communication community. We focus on research that develops, synthesizes and applies data collection and analysis techniques relying primarily on computational methods and tools, with the objective to answer substantive theory-driven questions in the field of political communication. Despite its vast potential, as of yet CCS has only had marginal impact on core tenets in the field of political communication: CCS research is still pursued by a small minority of political communication researchers, it is heavily undertheorized, its capacities to reveal novel aspects of political communication processes are often misunderstood, it remains largely descriptive or can sometimes showcase methodological rigor at the expense of well-defined theoretical mechanisms, and its highly interdisciplinary nature makes it institutionally cumbersome. With this SI, we plan to map the potential of CCS for the political communication community and demonstrate its broad appeal beyond that of highly technically skilled researchers, focusing on approaches and perspectives that not only demonstrate its methodological innovation but, most importantly, illustrate its theoretical, practical, and institutional relevance, as well as challenges in realizing its potential.

Submission guidelines: We hope the call inspires authors to freshly reflect on challenges and potentials of CCS in political communication research. It is explicitly not our goal to provide authors with just another space to publish yet one more computational-methods-driven paper. This is reflected in our publication schedule that should give authors the time and opportunity to react to the issues raised in our call. Once ready, please submit your work through our online submission portal. We encourage everyone to review our Instructions for Authors prior to submitting.

  • Paper Submissions: 1 October 2019
  • First decision: 1. December 2019
  • Deadline Revisions: 1 February 2020
  • Final Decision: 1. March 2020

Find the complete Call for Contributions here.

Special Issue of "Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies"

Guest-editors: Christian Pentzold (University of Bremen, Germany), Anne Kaun (Södertörn University, Sweden), and Christine Lohmeier (University of Bremen, Germany)

Digital media, networked services, and aggregate data are beacons of the future. These incessantly emerging tools and infrastructures project new ways of communication, bring unknown kinds of information, and open up untrodden paths of interaction. Yet digital technologies do not only forecast uncharted times or predict what comes next. They are, it seems, both prognostic and progressive media: they don’t await the times to come but realize the utopian as well as dystopian visions which they have always already foreseen. At the same time, all calculation of anticipations has to rely on past data that profoundly shape our ability to manage expectations and minimize uncertainties.

In these fast forward dynamics, the special issue of Convergence examines the futuremaking capacity of networked services and aggregate data. We ask contributions to consider: What role do digital technologies and data play in the construction and circulation of future knowledge, e.g., through forecasting, modelling, prediction, or prognosis? What expectations and anticipatory visions such as promise or warning do accompany the creation and diffusion of new media? Over the course of history, which imaginaries of social and technological futures have been propelled by the media innovations at that time? How do new media technologies and discourses contribute to the production and reproduction of social time that is future oriented? How do they impact on the ability to exert control over the future?
Papers in this special issue will explore the future making dimension of new media and may include the following topics:

  • Role of media in reconfiguring the relations and distances among present, past, and future times
  • Communicative construction of differently vast and (un)certain horizons of expectation
  • Data-based modes of anticipation (e.g., prognosis, prediction, prevention, precaution, pre-emption); calculative practices and other kinds of speculative accounts of possible events
  • Historical succession of past future visions around media innovations and mediated social life
  • Imaginaries of futures related to digital media
  • Interventions into the plans, efforts, and processes of constructing futures
  • Backwards-orientation of forecasting and conservative aspects of future scenarios
  • New media in the production of simultaneity, coincidence, or (non)contemporaneity

Submissions:Proposals should include the author's name and affiliation, title, an abstract of 500 words, and 3 to 5 keywords, and should be sent to the e-mail address no later than 1 December 2018: mediatizedtime@uni-bremen.de Invited paper submissions will be due 1 June 2019 and will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of the journal. The invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee acceptance into the special issue. The special issue will be published in 2020. All inquiries should be sent to: christian.pentzold@uni-bremen.de.

Download the Call for Papers.

Special Issue of "New Media & Society"

Guest-editors: Christine Lohmeier (University of Bremen), Anne Kaun (Södertörn University) & Christian Pentzold (University of Bremen)

Studying media and communication processes through the lens of time and temporality enjoys a long history. Waves of technological innovation such as mechanization and electrification have come with a profound reconfiguration of social time. This holds true for datafication too. Datafication – referring to processes of quantification and the transformation of evermore objects into data, as well as the automation of judgements, evaluations, and decision-making – requires us to rethink, once again, the relationship between media, data, and temporality. 

The special issue of New Media & Society will address the continuities and disruptions emerging in the nexus of time and media. It addresses the challenges of acting in the present, acceding to the future, and mobilizing the past in increasingly datafied societies. We assume that the changing mediations of time leave their mark on the ways we process and order the pace, sequence, and rhythms of intersecting lives. 

Contributions to this special issue will explore changes in the perception and conception of time that go hand in hand with technological change and provide a discussion on how to grasp these empirical variations theoretically. They are invited to scrutinize the frictions between a plurality of social temporalities and the tendencies to establish dominate modes of creating, keeping, and managing time. While the focus is on current developments, the issue also seeks to includecontributions that encompass a historically grounded and contextualizing discussion of the interplay between media, data, and temporality.

Papers could address but are not limited to the following themes:

  • media use and the management of time 
  • mediation and the communicative organization of time (e.g., through clocks, calendars, timetables)
  • digital media technologies in relation to acceleration, (de)synchronization, or deceleration
  • data-based modes of time making and time keeping
  • embodiment, affect, and temporality
  • media, time, and material objects
  • power struggles around mediated time and temporalities in movements of resistance or social change; temporal insurgency
  • cultural and social negotiations of media and time
  • temporal and technological arrangements between the past, present, and future
  • interrelations between time, media, and other activities

Abstract submission: 1 May 2018
Notification of selected proposals: 1 June 2018
Full paper submission: 15 January 2019
Publication planned for 2020


Submissions should include name and affiliation of the author(s), an abstract of 500 words, and 3 to 5 keywords.

They should be sent to the e-mail address no later than 1 May 2018: mediatizedtime[at]uni-bremen.de 

Invited paper submission will be due 15 January 2019 and will be submitted directly to the submission site for New Media & Society: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/nms where they will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of the journal. The invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee acceptance into the special issue. The special issue will be published in 2020.

In case you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch: mediatizedtime[at]uni-bremen.de


Special Issue of "Learning, Media and Technology"

March 2019, Volume 44, Issue 1

Guest-editors: Andreas Breiter, Juliane Jarke

Andreas Breiter (University of Bremen, Germany) and Juliane Jarke (University of Bremen, Germany) edited the special issue of the journal on the theme of The Datafication of Education.

The relevance of data for educational processes in schools such as teaching and learning as well as for educational administration and educational policy has increased throughout the last decade. This has an impact on how education is measured, managed and controlled. ‘Governing by numbers’ (Grek 2009) has become a new paradigm. National and international student assessments, standardised achievement tests, school inspections and rankings are part of new forms of educational governance covering all three levels (Altrichter 2010). On the macro level, public pressure on changing education policy are often shaped by international non-governmental organizations like the OECD and are based on data. This can be observed since the publication of PISA results in the 1990s. Martens and others explained different reactions of nation states to these pressures (Martens/Jacobi 2010) – from adoption of achievement tests in national education policies, to ignoring it. This is part of a larger movement of standardization in education, output measurement and accountability (Jacobsen/Young 2013). While the political perspective has been studied intensively, the underlying data practices of key stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, administrators) are under-researched (Breiter 2016). This relates to the meso level of school administrations by introducing methods of new public management for budget control, benchmarks and goals to measure effectiveness. The role of districts and educational authorities in handling data and using data for accountability (Anagnostopolous 2013) varies significantly between countries. This makes an international perspective necessary. On the micro level of the school, different forms of data use have been identified on both the managerial level of principals to teachers on the classroom level (Schildkamp/Poortman 2015). Learning analytics (Papamitsiou/Economides 2014, Perrotta/Williamson 2016) are promoted as a powerful tool for better learning and student support. The underlying algorithms and the ways in which data are produced by data providers, statisticians as well as the role of software companies and educational providers are hardly understood (Eynon 2013, Williamson 2014).

The special issue can be accessed here.

Altrichter, H. (2010): Theory and Evidence on Governance: conceptual and empirical strategies of research on governance in education. European Educational Research Journal 9 (2), 147-158.

Anagnostopoulos, D.; Rutledge, S. A.; Jacobsen, R. (eds.). (2013): The infrastructure of accountability: Data use and the transformation of American education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Breiter, Andreas (2016): Datafication in education: a multi-level challenge for IT in educational management. in: Torsten Brinda, Don Passey, (eds.), Stakeholders and Information Technology in Education. Berlin: Springer

Eynon, R. (2013). The rise of Big Data: what does it mean for education, technology, and media research? Learning, Media & Technology, 38(3), 237-240.

Grek, S. (2009): Governing by Numbers: The PISA ‘Effect’ in Europe. Journal of Education Policy 24 (1), 23-37.

Jacobsen, R.; Young, T. V. (2013): The New Politics of Accountability: Research in Retrospect and Prospect. Educational Policy 27 (2), 155-169.

Martens, K.; Jakobi, A. P. (2010): Mechanisms of OECD Governance - International Incentives for National Policy Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Papamitsiou, Z.; Economides, A. A. (2014): Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining in Practice: A Systematic Literature Review of Empirical Evidence. Educational Technology & Society 17 (4), 49-64.

Perrotta, C.; Williamson, B. (2016): The social life of Learning Analytics: cluster analysis and the ‘performance’ of algorithmic education. Learning, Media and Technology, 1-14.

Schildkamp, K., & Poortman, C. L. (2015). Factors influencing the functioning of data teams. Teachers College Record, 117(5).

Williamson, B. (2014): Governing software: networks, databases and algorithmic power in the digital governance of public education. Learning, Media and Technology, 1-23.

Special Issue of "Media and Communication"

2017, Volume 5, No. 3

Guest-editors: Sigrid Kannengießer, Sebastian Kubitschko

In one way or the other the current transformation of society is related to media, which are understood to mean organizations, content and technologies. As a consequence, media themselves are gaining increasing relevance in political debates and for political activity per se. Actors like hacker collectives, alternative media or open source movements do not only use media to organize, collaborate and to mobilize, but explicitly center their activities on media-related questions. Pioneer communities like the Quantified Self or Makers movement have emerged as new kinds of collectivities at the crossroads between social movements and think tanks, in their support of new forms of media practice. At the same time, new initiatives critically deal with media and point to problems caused by current media appropriation. One prominent case is Repair Cafés where people maintain their devices to avoid buying new ones, pointing to the socio-ecological damage the production and disposal of media technologies cause. The number of examples that could be added to this list is constantly growing.What the actors mentioned have in common is that they tinker around with media, tease them apart, explore and modify them. They thematize how media are dominantly used in society and they often influence the way media are constructed and perceived in public discourse. Overall, by putting media at the center of their involvement, they are acting on media. Along with this development, apparently clear distinctions between ‘alternative’ and ‘established’ groups, between ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ tactics, between ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ forms of media-related engagement become blurred. The core idea of this special issue is to bring together empirical analysis and critical reflections on different forms of acting on media.


Sigrid Kannengießer and Sebastian Kubitschko
Acting on Media: Influencing, Shaping and (Re)Configuring the Fabric of Everyday Life                  

Tilo Grenz and Paul Eisewicht
Variants of Interplay as Drivers of Media Change

Wolfgang Reißmann, Moritz Stock, Svenja Kaiser, Vanessa Isenberg and Jörg-Uwe Nieland
Fan (Fiction) Acting on Media and the Politics of Appropriation
Sarah Myers West
Raging Against the Machine: Network Gatekeeping and Collective Action on Social Media Platforms

Johanna Möller and M. Bjørn von Rimscha
(De)Centralization of the Global Informational Ecosystem

Michael S. Daubs and Jeffrey Wimmer
Forgetting History: Mediated Reflections on Occupy Wall Street       

Hilde C. Stephansen
Media Activism as Movement? Collective Identity Formation in the World Forum of Free Media

The special issue can be accessed here.

Special Issue of "Communication

2017, Volume 42, No. 3

Guest-editors: Christine Lohmeier, Rieke Böhling

Memory and media are closely interlinked areas of research: In fact, memory has always materialized through cultural artefacts, various objects and the mediation of images, words and signs. Furthermore, memory as a social construct has a strong collective dimension. Even individuals’ memories  can be viewed and made sense of within the context of different collectivities and social formations such as the family, an ethnic community or a nation. Media are essential for these groups to communicate with each other and thereby constitute and negotiate identities, or make sense of the world – past, present and future included.

In times of “deep mediatization”, communication within families has undergone some tremendous changes: a higher number of communication devices are in use with an increasing number of functions and media and communication devices present in most areas of everyday life. At the same time the pace of innovation is increasing – both in terms of devices and gadgets available and in terms of services and platforms on offer. Through everyday practices like texting and emailing, more and more digital traces are produced creating a sense that these activities are stored somewhere and therefore not forgotten. Meanwhile, it is also apparent that the data produced through these activities are not in one’s own hands and the people who generate them do not have complete control over them. Simultaneously, heightened mobility (be it for work or leisure purposes), migratory experiences and flight, as well as divorces  and ruptures within families provide challenges as well as perhaps new opportunities for creating family memory.

This special issue focuses on how memory is constructed, communicated, accomplished, negotiated and hindered in the family context. As such, processes of memory construction in the family context are not new but the way in which families are seen and understood in public and scholarly discourses has changed significantly.


Communicating family memory: Remembering in a changing media environment
Lohmeier, Christine / Böhling, Rieke

The media construction of family history: An analysis of “Who do you think you are?”
Lunt, Peter

Bereavement photographs as family photographs: Findings from a phenomenological study on family experience with neonatal end-of-life photography
Martel, Sara

Sharing grief and mourning on Instagram: Digital patterns of family memories
Thimm, Caja / Nehls, Patrick

Mediated memory making: The virtual family photograph album
Holloway, Donell / Green, Lelia

Research in brief

Negotiating family history: Media use among descendants of Danish Nazis
Krogsgaard, Ole


The special issue can be accessed online here.

s: The European Journal of Communication Research"

Sonderheft von "M&K Medien und Kommunikationswissenschaft"

Gastherausgeber: Christian Pentzold, Christian Katzenbach

Prof. Dr. Christian Pentzold und Dr. Christian Katzenbach geben Sonderheft der wissenschaftlichen Fachzeitschrift "Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft" zum Thema "Komplexitätssteigerung und Komplexitätsreduzierung in der kommunikationswissenschaftlichen Theoriebildung" heraus.

Mit Beiträgen von Christian Katzenbach & Christian Pentzold, Marian Adolf, Laura Wolff, Annie Waldherr, Christoph Neuberger, Susanne Eichner & Elizabeth Prommer sowie Carsten Winter & Christopher Buschow.

Theoriebildung, also das Entwickeln, Formulieren, Diskutieren und Anwenden theoretischen Wissens in Form verallgemeinerter Konzepte, erklärender Modelle oder analytischer Begriffe, bewegt sich stets im Spannungsverhältnis von Verkomplizierung und Vereinfachung. Das Anliegen der Kommunikationswissenschaft, die Bedingungen, Vorgänge und Konsequenzen von Kommunikationsprozessen und Mediensystemen in ihrer Komplexität adäquat erfassen zu wollen, scheint dabei der Notwendigkeit und Leistung von Theoriebildung gegenüber zu stehen, gerade eine Beschränkung vorzunehmen, um die jeweils im Fokus stehenden Aspekte abstrahierend und generalisierend beschreiben, erklären und gegebenenfalls prognostizieren zu können.

Auch vor dem Hintergrund der Behauptung, dass sich die empirischen Gegenstände der Kommunikationswissenschaft, etwa durch Digitalisierung und Vernetzung, verkompliziert hätten, soll das Themenheft der Zeitschrift „Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft” dazu dienen, solche tatsächlichen oder vermeintlichen Entwicklungen zwischen Komplexitätssteigerung und Komplexitätsreduzierung in der kommunikationswissenschaftlichen Theoriebildung zu reflektieren. Dabei stehen drei Ziele im Vordergrund:

Erstens die explizite Auseinandersetzung mit Komplexität als Bezugspunkt kommunikations- wissenschaftlicher Theoriebildung: Aus theoretisch unterschiedlich begründeten und auf verschiedene kommunikationswissenschaftliche Gegenstände bezogenen Perspektiven soll erörtert werden, welche Begriffe, Modelle oder Konzepte der Komplexität sozialer Kommunikation und medienkommunikativer Verhältnisse adäquat Rechnung tragen und sie theoretisch sowie analytisch-empirisch begreifbar machen.

Zweitens die begrifflich substanzielle Fassung von Komplexität: „Komplexität“ soll nicht als Metapher dienen, sondern einen analytischen Mehrwert für die Kommunikationswissenschaft bieten. Dazu bedarf es nicht notwendigerweise einer übergreifenden, allgemein geteilten Definition von Komplexität, wohl aber der kritischen Durchsicht des Feldes konzeptueller Ansätze, um Komplexität für die Kommunikationswissenschaft zu theoretisieren. Ansatzpunkte hierfür können etwa einschlägige, unterschiedlich intensiv in der Kommunikationswissenschaft rezipierte Konzepte sein – beispielsweise kybernetische, explizit als Komplexitätstheorien apostrophierte Ansätze, die soziologischen Arbeiten von Luhmann, Latour oder Rosa wie auch ökonomische Theorien kollektiven Handelns –, die für die kommunikationswissenschaftliche Theoriebildung (weiter) erschlossen werden sollen.

Drittens die explizite und kritische Auseinandersetzung mit den Ambivalenzen von Komplexi- tät: Die, wie häufig behauptet, komplexer werdenden gegenwärtigen kommunikativen For- men und Prozesse müssen sich nicht notwendigerweise in gesteigerte Theoriekomplexität übersetzen; daher soll das Themenheft Raum bieten, das Verhältnis von Gegenstandskomple- xität und Theoriekomplexität zu diskutieren. Darüber hinaus soll die Auseinandersetzung mit Komplexität in kommunikationswissenschaftlicher Theoriebildung unter dem Aspekt von Kontinuität und Wandel betrachtet werden. Und schließlich wäre grundlegend das Verhältnis von Komplexitätssteigerung und Komplexitätsreduzierung in der Theoriebildung zu behandeln.


Christian Katzenbach / Christian Pentzold
Theoriearbeit in der Kommunikationswissenschaft zwischen Komplexitätssteigerung und Komplexitätsreduzierung

Marian Adolf
Komplexität als Herausforderung der Kommunikationswissenschaft: von Landkarten, Strategien und Fallen

Laura Wolff
Komplexitätsbewältigung und Hypertextualität. Systematisierung des Forschungsfelds und Entwurf eines aneignungstheoretischen Untersuchungsansatzes

Annie Waldherr
Öffentlichkeit als komplexes System. Theoretischer Entwurf und methodische Konsequenzen

Christoph Neuberger
Die Rückkehr der Masse. Interaktive Massenphänomene im Internet aus Sicht der Massen- und Komplexitätstheorie

Susanne Eichner / Elizabeth Prommer
Doing Media: Multiperspektivität als Theorie- und Forschungskonzept in komplexen Medienwelten

Carsten Winter / Christopher Buschow
Die neue Komplexität vernetzten Medienmanagements. Theorieinnovationen für die Medienmanagementforschung

Das Sonderheft ist digital hier in der Nomos eLibrary abrufbar.

Sonderheft von "M&K Medien und Kommunikationswissenschaft"

Gastherausgeber: Andreas Hepp, Wiebke Loosen, Uwe Hasebrink

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp, PD Dr. Wiebke Loosen und Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink geben gemeinsam mit Prof. em. Dr. Jo Reichertz Sonderheft der wissenschaftlichen Fachzeitschrift "Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft" zum Thema "Konstruktivismus in der Kommunikationswissenschaft" mit heraus.

Das von Mitgliedern des Forschungsverbunds "Kommunikative Figurationen" herausgegebene Sonderheft umfasst insgesamt 13 Beiträge, die sich mit theoretischen Zugängen, neue Theorieperspektiven und aktuellen Transformationen auseinandersetzen. Aus dem einleitenden Beitrag:

"Betrachtet man die aktuelle Debatte um den Konstruktivismus in der Kommunikationswissenschaft, stehen immer wieder drei Fragen im Vordergrund: Wie genau konkretisiert sich konstruktivistisches Denken in der Kommunikations- und Medienforschung? Welche Grundlagen liefert es für eine empirische Forschung? Und inwieweit verschieben sich hierbei bisherige Blickwinkel und Ansätze? Diese Fragen aufgreifend führt die Einleitung in das Themenheft „Konstruktivismus in der Kommunikationswissenschaft“ ein. Hierbei wird zuerst diskutiert, warum die Debatte um Konstruktivismus jetzt (erneut) geführt werden sollte. Ausgehend davon werden die Linien des Konstruktivismus in der deutschsprachigen Kommunikationswissenschaft über die letzten fünf Jahrzehnte rekonstruiert und die verschiedenen Beiträge dieses Themenhefts in diese Diskussion eingeordnet. Schließlich werden Überlegungen zu einer konstruktivistischen Kritik angestellt, wie sie im Hinblick auf den fundamentalen und tiefgreifenden Charakter des Medien- und Kommunikationswandels notwendig erscheint."


Andreas Hepp, Wiebke Loosen, Uwe Hasebrink, Jo Reichertz
Konstruktivismus in der Kommunikationswissenschaft. Über die Notwendigkeit einer (erneuten) Debatte
Seiten 181-206

Theoretische Zugänge
Siegfried J. Schmidt
Konstruktivistische Argumentationen als Reflexionsangebote für die Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaften
Seiten 207-218

Ricarda Drüeke, Elisabeth Klaus, Martina Thiele
Eine Genealogie des Konstruktivismus in der kommunikationswissenschaftlichen Geschlechterforschung
Seiten 219-235

Gerhard Vowe
Theoretische Ansätze als kommunikative Konstruktionen. Optionen und Konsequenzen einer konstruktivistischen Erklärung der Wissenschaftsentwicklung
Seiten 236-251

Neue Theorieperspektiven
Jo Reichertz
Die Bedeutung des kommunikativen Handelns und der Medien im Kommunikativen Konstruktivismus
Seiten 252-274

Peter Gentzel
Praktisches Wissen und Materialität. Herausforderungen für kritisch- konstruktivistische Kommunikations- und Medienforschung
Seiten 275-293

Hektor Haarkötter
Konstruktivismus oder „Neuer Realismus“? Zwei konkurrierende Ansätze der Welterklärung und ihre Bedeutung für Journalismus und Journalismusforschung
Seiten 294-312

Hagen Schölzel
Die Komposition politischer Öffentlichkeiten. Konturen einer Kommunikations- und Mediensoziologie in den Arbeiten Bruno Latours und der Akteur-Netzwerk-Theorie
Seiten 313-329

Andreas Hepp, Uwe Hasebrink
Kommunikative Figurationen. Ein konzeptioneller Rahmen zur Erforschung kommunikativer Konstruktionsprozesse in Zeiten tiefgreifender Mediatisierung
Seiten 330-347

Aktuelle Transformationen
Wiebke Loosen, Armin Scholl
Journalismus und (algorithmische) Wirklichkeitskonstruktion. Epistemologische Beobachtungen
Seiten 348-366

Margreth Lünenborg
Von Mediengattungen zu kontingenten Hybriden: Konstruktivistische und performativitätstheoretische Perspektiven für die Journalistik
Seiten 367-384

Hendrik Michael
Ein mediengattungstheoretischer Modellentwurf zur Beobachtung der Entgrenzung journalistischer Formate am Beispiel von „fake news shows“
Seiten 385-405

Christoph Neuberger
Journalistische Objektivität. Vorschlag für einen pragmatischen Theorierahmen
Seiten 406-431


Das Sonderheft ist digital hier in der Nomos eLibrary abrufbar.

Special Section of the "International Journal of Communication"

Guest-editors: Andreas Hepp, Andreas Breiter, Thomas Friemel

“Big data” has become a contested buzzword for media and communications research, but  remains a vague concept when it comes to empirical, contextualised analysis and interpretations. From the point of view of the media user and a critical analysis of media practices, it is rather “digital traces” that matter. The term “traces” puts emphasis on the fact that these data result from the practices of individuals, collectivities, and organizations while using digital media. To understand “digital traces” we have to relate them to the various actors who originate them, as well as the contexts that matter. When putting “digital traces in context,” we have to reflect the programmers who design and implement the related technologies, the features of the technologies (e.g., the underlying algorithms), the actors producing the traces through their practice, the procedures of data gathering, as well as the relation of these data with various kinds of other information. Hence, studying the context of digital traces goes beyond the mere analysis of “big data.” Investigating digital traces is a challenge for research methods (e.g., data mining, validation, research ethics, replicability, transparency), and theories (e.g., grasping general patterns, development of new theories), and a profound reflection of all of this (e.g., redefining the basis for academic critique). The aim of the Special Section is to bring scholars of media and communications research together with scholars of other disciplines to reflect the chances of researching “digital traces in context” as one way of making a  proper sense of “datafication.”