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Welcome to Media Trends 2015: Power and Media: Ownership, Sponsorship, Censorship
A conference hosted by Webster Vienna Private University 10-12 September, 2015

We have lined up a diverse group of academics, media professionals, IGO and NGO representatives and students to critically analyze:

  • All aspects of overt and covert control of communication
  • Concentration of ownership
  • Advertiser, commercial, financial and political influences
  • Agenda-setting, framing, technological and organizational constraints
  • Media empowerment

Click here for conference panels, full abstracts and biographies
Click here for the extended call for papers

We look forward to seeing you in Vienna!

The Media Trends 2015 Organizing Committee

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Thursday, September 10


Thursday September 10, 2015 3:00pm - 5:30pm


avatar for Regina Kecht

Regina Kecht

Academic Director, Webster Vienna Private University
Dr. Maria Regina Kecht received a teacher's diploma for Russian, an M.A. in comparative literature, and a Doctor of Philosophy (summa cum laude) in American literature with minors in comparative literature and Russian from the University of Innsbruck. The path of her university career led from Indiana University Bloomington, to the Middlebury School of German and the University of Mainz, to Hamilton College... Read More →
avatar for Anthony Löwstedt

Anthony Löwstedt

Assistant Professor, Webster Vienna Private University
Dr. Anthony Löwstedt, a Swedish/British media communications researcher and lecturer, is Assistant Professor at Webster University in Vienna. He taught at Webster University Geneva and at Bir Zeit University in Palestine and also worked for the United Nations Development Program and for non-governmental human rights organizations.
avatar for Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

Department Head, Media Communications, Webster Vienna Private University
Bradley Wiggins earned his Ph.D. in Communications Media & Instructional Technology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his M.A. in German Language & Literature with TESOL Certification from the University of Pittsburgh. Before being hired this year as head of Webster Vienna's communication department, Wiggins was assistant professor and department head of communication at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, in the USA... Read More →

Thursday September 10, 2015 5:30pm - 6:00pm


Oxford-Style Debate
Debate motion: Public ownership of the media must be expanded in order to counter state, private and/or corporate interference.

avatar for Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

Department Head, Media Communications, Webster Vienna Private University
Bradley Wiggins earned his Ph.D. in Communications Media & Instructional Technology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his M.A. in German Language & Literature with TESOL Certification from the University of Pittsburgh. Before being hired this year as head of Webster Vienna's communication department, Wiggins was assistant professor and department head of communication at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, in the USA... Read More →

avatar for Brooke Gladstone

Brooke Gladstone

Moderator, WNYC
Host of the renowned On the Media, on WNYC. Since it was re-launched in 2001, On the Media has been one of NPR's fastest growing programs, heard on more than 500 public radio stations. It has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and a Peabody Award for its body of work. Among Gladstone’s other accomplishments, she was an NPR... Read More →
avatar for Andreas Rudas

Andreas Rudas

Executive Vice President, RTL Group
Andreas Rudas, born in 1953, worked with the Austrian public broadcaster ORF from 1986 to 1997, being its Secretary General from 1994 to 1997. In this role he was responsible for business planning, media politics, marketing and satellite broadcasting. Starting in 2000, he held various positions at Magna International Europe, being Member of the Management Board from 2001 to 2005. Since December 2005, Andreas Rudas was Executive Director of WAZ... Read More →
avatar for Katharine Sarikakis

Katharine Sarikakis

Professor, University of Vienna
Professor Dr. Katharine Sarikakis researches the political processes and economic dimensions of media and communications governance, nationally and globally. She is currently working on a book, Communication and Control, which is under contract by Palgrave Macmillan. In it she explores issues of control over citizenship through commercial and political surveillance and communication and cultural policies of copyright, labor and ownership... Read More →
avatar for Alexander Wrabetz

Alexander Wrabetz

General Director, Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF)
After completing his law studies and obtaining his doctorate in law in 1983, Wrabetz worked at the Erste Bank, the Österreichische Industrieverwaltungs-AG (ÖIAG), and Voest Alpine Intertrading GmbH. In 1995, he was appointed member of the ORF Board of Trustees, the predecessor of the current ORF Foundation Board. From 1998 to 2001, he was Commercial Director of the ORF. In 2005, due to the outsourcing of the ORF broadcasting... Read More →

Thursday September 10, 2015 6:00pm - 7:30pm


Thursday September 10, 2015 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Friday, September 11


Friday September 11, 2015 8:30am - 9:00am


Public Media: Convergence, Confrontation and Crisis

Sarikakis: University of Vienna
Political disobedience and the fourth model of public service media in Europe: This paper explores in detail the concept and praxis of political disobedience in the process of the state's dismantling of public service media, with the specific example of Greece’s Hellenic Public Broadcaster and the model of self-governance developed and applied for 23 months. After a survey of the conditions of structural changes among PSBs in Europe, the paper discusses the motivations, dilemmas and challenges, legal, political and financial, in pursuing a sustainable form of political disobedience and establishing self-governance as the fourth model of public service broadcasting governance in Europe.

Rozgonyi: University of Vienna
The fading nature of ‘public interest’ in spectrum management - the governance of broadcast digitalization in Europe during the last decade: During the past decade the European and global digital switchover process (DSO) has implicated major changes on media markets, having severe impacts on media and electronic communications policy and regulation. The key expectations towards technological changes addressed critical policy goals, including more benefits to the citizens and the elimination of the information gap. The DSO is a special phenomenon in converging policy aspects: digitalization of broadcasting networks is at the crossroads of media and telecommunication policy and regulation; therefore the different approaches, rationales and interests of these distinct but related fields are present at the same time. The global and European trends of deregulation, liberalization and privatization of telecommunication, accompanied by the emerging concepts of the European Information Society and the single European information space - promoting a competitive digital economy and emphasizing the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a driver of inclusion and quality of life - have resulted in overwhelming representation of telecoms policy aspects during the DSO process, although named as an “integrated approach to information society and audiovisual media policies in the EU” (European Commission, 2005). 

Wenzel: Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Public funding of media organizations - democratic media performance? The situation in Switzerland:The thesis of this paper is that public funding of journalism is the most effective tool in order to safeguard democratic media performance (Kiefer 2011; McChesney 2014). In order to address this research question, central criteria of democratic news performance in a digital environment will firstly be identified. Secondly, look at the situation in Switzerland.  The analysis will include structural data (organizational and journalists' routines, but also usage of their content) and content analysis in five different states.

Moderator: Alison Langley

avatar for Krisztina Rozgonyi

Krisztina Rozgonyi

Researcher, Media Governance and Industries Research Group at the University Vienna, Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswis
Dr. Krisztina Rozgonyi has been a senior regulator and legal adviser for a number of governments, regulators, and companies in Hungary. Dr. Rozgonyi used to be the Chairperson of the Telecoms Authority in Hungary, acts as adviser to the Serbian Government in digital switchover, works in Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Georgia as director for the World Bank CAS InfoDev project. As an ITU/UN expert she also works for governments and regulators in... Read More →
avatar for Katharine Sarikakis

Katharine Sarikakis

Professor, University of Vienna
Professor Dr. Katharine Sarikakis researches the political processes and economic dimensions of media and communications governance, nationally and globally. She is currently working on a book, Communication and Control, which is under contract by Palgrave Macmillan. In it she explores issues of control over citizenship through commercial and political surveillance and communication and cultural policies of copyright, labor and ownership... Read More →

Corinna Wenzel

Research Assistant, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Corinna Wenzel is Research Assistant (Post Doc) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences since July 2014. She was previously Research Assistant at the University of Salzburg. Her research interests include: quality of media content; media policy actors and processes; media and democracy; public service broadcasting. She is currently involved in research on media quality in Austria.

Friday September 11, 2015 9:00am - 10:14am


Hidden Ownership / Hidden Pressures

Kwak: University of Sydney, Australia
Corporate influence on the media in South Korea: The case of Samsung: Since 1987, when South Korea achieved partial democracy, the state-media relationship has undergone a revolutionary change during a period of democratisation. However, it is questionable if the same phrase can be applied to the relationship between the business conglomerates and the media. In order to maintain their dominance of the market, mainstream (conservative) newspapers have consistently supported business conglomerates.

Degirmenci & Parlak: Pamukkale University, Turkey 
From Doxasophus to victim journalists: Zaman newspaper journalists’ discursive metamorphosis: The Zaman newspaper is part of a media group which is directly aligned with the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen (and his movement, the Gülen Movement). In February 2011, Turkish police raided the OdaTV website and the homes of its owner and the journalists, and accused them of attempting to launch a coup against the government headed by Tayyip Erdogan. In this paper, we will explain the differentiation of Zaman newspaper's evaluation of the arrest of the journalists in 2011 and in 2014 through its relationship with the government. We will focus on how they built a discursive approach to the issues and explain those via examples from the articles.

Labarthe: Academy of Journalism and Media, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Swiss investigative journalists under surveillance: Lessons learnt from 2014: In the field of journalism studies in Switzerland, few academic researchers have studied the influence of media concentration phenomena on contemporary journalistic production, quality and diversity of the press (Bonfadelli, Keel, Marr & Wyss, 2011). The way it affects the working conditions of Swiss investigative journalists in particular remains completely unexplored (Labarthe, 2012, 2014; Dubied et al., 2015). How do Swiss investigative journalists cope with ever shrinking time for information research, in view of the media’s current financial struggles and the acceleration of news production and consumption? These questions lie at the heart of the PhD thesis that the author is currently completing at the University of Neuchatel’s Academy of Journalism and Media (qualitative communication research methods, participant observation, ethnographic and narrative interviews).

Moderator: Michael Freund


Ki-Sung Kwak

Associate Professor, East Asian/Korean Media, School of Languages and Cultures
Dr. Ki-Sung Kwak has published widely on media policy and regulation, and comparative media in East Asia. His works have been published in journals such as Television and New Media, Gazette: International Journal for Communication Studies, Media International Australia and WPCC. He is the author of Media and Democratic Transition in South Korea (Routledge, 2012).
avatar for Gilles LABARTHE


Researcher, trainer, doctoral assistant, Academy of Journalism and Media
Gilles Labarthe is an academic researcher and journalism trainer at the Academy of Journalism and Media (AJM, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland), specialized in investigations and access to governmental information. | As a freelance journalist and co-founder of an independent news agency, DATAS, accredited to the United Nations Office, Geneva (www.datas.ch), he has worked for Radio Suisse Romande (Swiss National Radio), Swiss daily... Read More →

Nigar Degirmenci & Ismet Parlak

Pamukkale University, Turkey
Dr. Nigar Degirmenci studied at the Ege University (Izmir, Turkey) where she graduated at the Communication Faculty. She obtained a PhD degree in Political and Social Sciences from the Dokuz Eylul University (Izmir, Turkey) with a thesis entitled “Media and Democracy in Turkey” in 2010. Her research fields are political communication, gender and political life in Turkey. She has published articles and book chapters about media... Read More →

Friday September 11, 2015 9:00am - 10:15am


Sponsorship and Influence

Piasecki & Gresselmeyer: CVJM Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences, Kassel, Germany
Nudging: „Soft" mind-bending through politics and media: A modern issue for civil rights activists? This paper deals with the following questions: What is nudging and which danger accrues from it from the points of view of citizen rights and human rights? What roles do the media and social networks play in nudging? Since when and why is nudging used in politics and media as a method for paternalistic “correction of behavior" in general, and specifically in the USA, UK, and Germany? Which practical uses and, on the other hand, which dangerous uses does nudging have in our daily lives?
Nudging is a new way of influencing the process of making opinions and decisions. Through convincing arguments and motivation tactics citizens are pushed to a certain kind of behavior: to separate their waste, vote, volunteer, eat healthily, and other things. The will to manipulate and other dangers are undeniable, and yet nudging has become part of the governmental programs of the USA, UK, and recently Germany.
: OFID, OPEC Fund for International Development, Vienna
E-diplomacy of the Islamic State: Increasingly, a wide range of new non-state actors, insurgencies and terrorist networks have utilized social media to engage in direct public diplomacy efforts on an international scale, enabling them to reach an international audience, and allowing for powerful statements to be made even with the absence of any media commentary. By analyzing the case of the Islamic State and its sophisticated use of social media in its communications with the international community, this paper seeks to further evaluate how the IS utilises media to guide public opinion.

Jarisch & Breuss: Styria Digital Services - Digital Lab/Innovation Development, Vienna
Technology Rules Media: Today, media messages are delivered increasingly via computer algorithms that are based on logic and probability, representing an early stage of artificial intelligence, rather than by professional individuals with human beliefs and common sense, such as journalists, media experts or owners. Thus, control over the message is shifting away from those who produce media to those who deliver it. This is a theoretical paper, which addresses the scenario of humanity losing control over the media.

Moderator: Dr. Maria Madlberger


Fatma Elzahra Elshhati

Communications, OFID, OPEC Fund for International Development
After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications and International Relations from Webster University Vienna, Fatma Elshhati completed an MA at the London School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in International Studies and Diplomacy. Over the past years she has worked with media and media freedom advocacy, including with the International Press Institute's Middle East-North Africa desk, and with various newspapers and... Read More →
avatar for Stefan Piasecki

Stefan Piasecki

Professor, CVJM Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences
Dr. Stefan Piasecki is professor for Practical Social Work at the Kassel  University of Applied Sciences, advisor for the German movie and television age-rating board at FSK (Wiesbaden) and FSF (Berlin), with a research focus on interactive media, politics and religion. He has published in various fields, and held recent public lectures about "Gamification and learning processes", "Propagation made in Hollywood" etc.

Friday September 11, 2015 10:30am - 11:45am


Media, Oppression and Emancipation

Kaya: Ankara University, Turkey
Looking for lost integrity: Governmental censorship and journalistic dissent in Turkey: As the media sector becomes further incorporated in the capitalist class, the practices of censorship have undergone a change in form, moving further away from practices of direct pressure and control and more towards reinforcing the practices of self-control, avoidance and restraint in journalists’ everyday activities of newsmaking. This process has led to a shift from open and visible mechanisms of censorship to covert forms of censorship, which are singularly exemplified by the practices of self-censorship in Turkish media.  This study is an attempt to peg down the mechanisms of self-censorship in the journalistic practice in Turkey through in-depth interviews with 28 reporters working in Turkish media; the conclusion is that latent forms of censorship have been more corrosive for journalistic practice in Turkey, as the mechanisms of self-censorship undermine the integrity of journalism as a whole rather than the possibility of performing journalistic work.

Löwstedt: Webster Vienna Private University
Postmodern racism and the media: The media treatment of police killings of Black Americans (and others) in the USA in recent months has raised questions about a possibly continued central role of race in power structures, not only in the USA. The blanket coverage of sometimes deteriorating relationships between Christians, Muslims and Jews in Europe, northern Africa, western Asia and elsewhere has highlighted related concerns in a more geo-strategic and slightly different ideological manner. What roles do the media play in race relations? According to postmodern theory, the media are increasingly crucial when it comes to the racial dimension of power. This paper is a theoretical research review and an attempt to point out both strengths and weaknesses of the postmodern analysis of the relationship between racism and the media.

Zeitel-Bank & Battisti: Management Center Innsbruck, Austria
Scrutiny of the Austrian media system in special consideration of asylum and refugees: This paper focuses on the media system in Austria with particular interest in the portrayal of asylum-seekers and refugees. The objective is to define conditions, processes and content issues in order to point out their influence on the mass media coverage of the mentioned topic. As a framework for analysis the concept of the three political dimensions – polity, politics and policy, is used

Moderator: Rick Rockwell


Ezgi Kaya

Research Assistant, Ankara University Faculty of Communication
Ezgy Kaya is a research assistant in Ankara University Faculty of Communication and currently continues his Ph.D. thesis work in Middle East Technical University Department of Political Science. He simultaneously pursues a second MA degree in journalism in Ankara University Communication Faculty. He received his BA degree from Boğaziçi University Department of Philosophy and Department of Political Science and International Relations; and... Read More →
avatar for Anthony Löwstedt

Anthony Löwstedt

Assistant Professor, Webster Vienna Private University
Dr. Anthony Löwstedt, a Swedish/British media communications researcher and lecturer, is Assistant Professor at Webster University in Vienna. He taught at Webster University Geneva and at Bir Zeit University in Palestine and also worked for the United Nations Development Program and for non-governmental human rights organizations.
avatar for Natascha Zeitel-Bank

Natascha Zeitel-Bank

Professor - Senior Lecturer, Management Center Innsbruck
Prof. Dr. Natascha Zeitel-Bank is senior lecturer at the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) in Political Science, Media and Communication. Beside her academic career she worked as a journalist / PR Manager at several institutions at the national and international level (e.g. ZDF and European Commission). 

Friday September 11, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm


Keynote Address: Brooke Gladstone
Mass Media and the Political Brain: A Study in Collective Neurosis

avatar for Brooke Gladstone

Brooke Gladstone

Moderator, WNYC
Host of the renowned On the Media, on WNYC. Since it was re-launched in 2001, On the Media has been one of NPR's fastest growing programs, heard on more than 500 public radio stations. It has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and a Peabody Award for its body of work. Among Gladstone’s other accomplishments, she was an NPR... Read More →

Friday September 11, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm


Our lunches are provided by StewArt which uses only organic, locally-grown products.

Friday September 11, 2015 1:00pm - 2:00pm


State and Corporate Control
Barata Mir: OSCE, Vienna
The Representative on Freedom of the Media and the protection of freedom of expression and freedom of the media in the OSCE region: Many governments still continue to regard the media as a dangerous platform instrument that needs to be controlled and sometimes even silenced, instead of considering the media to be what it is: an essential and unique tool of democracies that allows for every citizen to obtain and impart pluralistic information. On the other hand, digital technologies are nowadays challenging traditional state intervention in the media. Technology multiplies the number of voices able to disseminate ideas and information with global reach. We should not neglect the capacity of private actors like big portals, search engines, technology manufacturers and others as to directly intervene in the conditions of circulation, distribution and access to content and ideas in new platforms.

: Ankara University, Turkey
The relationship between politics and media after 2001 in Turkey and its effects on journalistic practice: This study focuses on the transformation in the media sector following the economic crisis in 2001 in Turkey. It examines the new media environment shaped by the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government and media organizations and aims to demonstrate the effect of this media environment on journalistic practice.

: Anna University, Chennai, India
Muscle or muzzle? The controversy around media, power & censorship in Democratic India: 
The freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution of India can be suppressed if it is considered objectionable, harmful, or necessary to maintain communal harmony. This paper will explore the past few years in Indian, which have seen films, rock bands, websites, internet articles, events, documentaries and books restricted or totally banned under various Censorship Laws. The objective of the paper is to discuss and highlight some of these events, present a case for unbiased opinion leadership in the developed world and examine the future of Indian media in the context of power and censorship.

Rockwell: Webster University, St. Louis, USA
Media power in Central America: This presentation and paper will review the ownership structures of the six Spanish-speaking countries of Central America and show how the quasi-monopoly structures controlled by key elite families in the region have not only found ways to avoid globalization, beyond the regional cultural eddies caused by U.S. and Mexican media, but also imposed a system of informational screening on the region. This screening and skewing of information has tended to support conservative political structures and neoliberal policies related to trade and economics. 

Moderator: Rebekah Jorgensen


Sevtap Demir

Ph.D Student, Instıtute of Social Science-Journalism, Ankara University
Sevtap Demir is currently a Ph.D. student in Ankara University Communication Faculty, Department of Journalism, and works as a research assistant in the same department. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Ankara University Communication Faculty as well. Her research interests include the labor process in journalism, the relationship between media structure and media work, and class relationships in media workplaces.

Lata Rajagopalan Kumar

Dr. Lata Rajagopalan Kumar has worked in the field of advertising for nearly 12 years. Her experience has been mostly in the creative departments of various large advertising agencies in Chennai and Bangalore. Her last full time assignment saw her as Associate Creative Head, Mudra, Chennai. Her own creative hotshop, called “Mindbend”, focused on strategy and concepts, especially for small and medium sized agencies... Read More →
avatar for Juan (Joan) Barata Mir

Juan (Joan) Barata Mir

Principal Adviser, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Dr. Joan Barata Mir is the Principal Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Before that he was a Professor of Communication Law and Vice Dean of International Relations at Blanquerna Communication School (Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona). He was also a Professor at the University of Barcelona (2001-2005), the Open University of Catalonia (since 1997) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2010-2011), as well as visiting scholar... Read More →

Rick Rockwell

Associate Dean, Webster University, School of Communications
Associate Dean Rick Rockwell is responsible for special initiatives for the School of Communications that currently include graduate studies and online programs as well as curricular development. Rockwell also provides administrative oversight for the School's external media and student media organizations and publications. He serves as the executive producer of "Latin Pulse," a program focusing on news and public affairs in Latin America... Read More →

Friday September 11, 2015 2:00pm - 3:15pm


Powers of Storytelling

Benesch: University of Vienna, Austria
Transmedia storytelling - the flow of content across media: Transmedia storytelling is devoted to the question of how learning content is no longer linked only to a single medium. It has now become possible to learn by using a broad range of modern communication technologies such as games, books, events, cinema, television, social media and more. This enables one to reach full effects in recipients and represents a kind of logic for thinking about the flow of content across media. Learning contents are conveyed through multiple media, as no single medium corresponds throughout to the curiosity of all addressees. Due to the continuous use of transmedia storytelling, implicit learning in terms of constructivist learning theory is possible. Transmedia storytelling could be defined by radical intertextuality, multimodality and additive comprehension. 

: University of Cambridge, UK
The power of news: Journalism and the nineteenth century: The press was powerful, or deemed to be so, long before Frank Capra’s 1928 film, The Power of the Press. And modern pronouncements about the newspaper’s apparently imminent demise have by no
means banished this particular cliché to the margins. So much debate, in recent years, has turned on the media’s capacity to shape the public realm, and we need only turn to discussions in and around the Leveson Inquiry in the United Kingdom to identify a language of power and influence at work in modern reflections on the press. In this paper, I want to remind the audience that concerns about the scope of the newspaper’s power are in no way limited to modern times: the nineteenth century, in fact, saw numerous debates about the nature (and limits) of the media’s influence. I hope to outline the nineteenth-century’s conception of press power. I will also aim to evoke various theoretical perspectives crucial to these concerns – not least those of Michel Focuault and Marc Angenot.

Skeie: Webster University Geneva
Life after genocide: The story is about a person going back to his childhood neighbourhood of Mugina, Gitarama, around an hour away from the capital Kigali in Rwanda. Reverien lost his entire family in the 1994 genocide. All 43 of his family members were killed in front of him – the killers thought he was dead as well. Reverien was 15 years old. Today, Reverien lives in Switzerland. Last New Year, we went back to visit his village. On our way, we also visited some of the people he met while at the Red Cross field hospital. Javier is one, she was 11 years old in 1994; today, she lives in Kibungo, near the border with Tanzania. She is paralysed from her neck down. Prior to going to Rwanda, the same topic was approached, investigated and documented in Bosnia. The presentation will be about how to prepare and come to the stories that develop while one investigates a topic such as this.  

Moderator: Monika Schwärzler-Brodesser


Thomas Benesch

University of Vienna
Thomas Benesch has a long record in teaching different subjects and at different universities in Europe. He supervises more than 40 diploma theses and has published more than 25 scientific books in his teaching and research fields. Furthermore, Benesch is an expert in all kinds of qualitative and quantitative methods applied to Management, Medicine, Insurance, Finance and other areas. He holds a post-doctoral habilitation in management and... Read More →

Edmund Birch

Research Fellow, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Dr. Edmund Birch is a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, where he teaches in the French Department. His work explores nineteenth-century French literature and the cultural history of journalism. He has published on such writers as Edmond et Jules de Goncourt and Guy de Maupassant, and is currently revising his recently-completed PhD thesis, 'Fictions of the Press in Nineteenth-Century France', which he... Read More →
avatar for Kristian Skeie

Kristian Skeie

Adjunct Faculty, Webster University Geneva
Kristian Skeie is a Norwegian, Swiss-based photojournalist and a collaborator with the Keystone news photo agency. He works together with a number of organisations and publications including non-governmental organisations. He also teaches Photography for Media Communications at Webster University’s Geneva campus. His current long term reportage project is “Life After Genocide” about Srebrenica, Bosnia, and Rwanda. His photo... Read More →

Friday September 11, 2015 3:30pm - 4:45pm


Power of the Documentary - Discussion and Screening of SECRET: The Josephine Baker Files


Documentary, directed by Kathy Corley
Webster University, St. Louis, USA

Drawn from over a thousand FBI files and archival material, 'SECRET: The Josephine Baker FBI Files' tells the story of St. Louis-born entertainer Josephine Baker and two men who pursued her: media personality Walter Winchell and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Mixing old and new sound and images to link the present and past, SECRET uncovers Baker's little known identity as a global human rights activist. 

Interview with the film's director by another award-winning documentary filmmaker with a discussion about the power of the documentary film and the information media in general.

Kathy Corley has enjoyed teaching at Webster University's St. Louis, Leiden and Geneva campuses since 1985. As someone who practices what she teaches, she is an Emmy-award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened in international film festivals and on PBS and national cable channels. Corley's filmmaking career covers documentaries, narrative film, video art and new media performance art. She coordinates the documentary production and film studies programs in the School of Communications.

Corley is the recipient of the 2005 Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2005 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. She also has been honored with teaching awards from Webster University's Media Association and Women of Webster organizations.

avatar for Edith Bachkönig

Edith Bachkönig

Documentary Filmmaker
Dr. Edith Bachkönig is an independent documentary filmmaker. She produces low-budget documentaries in the fields of science, education and social issues. Since 2010 more than 20 of her documentaries have been broadcast; almost half of them were award winners. She also received several awards for producing reports on the public radio channel, Ö1 , e.g. the ‘Inge Morath’ Prize in 2010. In accordance with her... Read More →

avatar for Kathy  Corley

Kathy Corley

Professor, Webster University St. Louis
Kathy Corley has enjoyed teaching at Webster University's St. Louis, Leiden and Geneva campuses since 1985. As someone who practices what she teaches, she is an Emmy-award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened in international film festivals and on PBS and national cable channels. Corley's filmmaking career covers documentaries, narrative film, video art and new media performance art. She coordinates the documentary production and film... Read More →

Friday September 11, 2015 5:00pm - 6:15pm


Media Trends 2015 Dinner
Limited Capacity seats available

Gasthaus Hansy combines traditional Austrian wtih modern food. Invited guests will meet in the foyer at Webster and we will walk together to the restaurant, just outside Vienna's famous Prater amusement park.

Friday September 11, 2015 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Gasthaus Hansy Praterstern
Saturday, September 12


Morning Coffee and Networking
Saturday September 12, 2015 9:00am - 9:30am


Media Landscapes in the Arab World

Trionfi: International Press Institute, Vienna
On the importance of freedom of expression and information in Arab countries and communities: More than four years after the Arab Spring the press freedom situation in most countries in the Arab world is, according to many observers, even worse than before the 2011 upheaval. Today, journalists in most Arab countries are faced not only with restrictive laws, but also with torture, murder, attacks, deliberate targeting, kidnapping and detention, security and investigative summons by authorities, confiscation, and barring of information. What are the reasons for this failure to bring about greater press freedom? What are the challenges that journalists face today in covering Arab countries? This speech will focus on the situation in Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan, and look at trends, commonalities and differences.

Abou Zeid: Ain Shams University, Egypt
Egyptian television challenges in the 21st century: Egyptian television is facing many challenges in the 21st century, mainly because Egypt has witnessed two revolutions - 25 January, 2011 and 30 June, 2013.  This has lead to a dramatic change in political life in Egypt, and Egyptians are waiting for and expecting a dramatic change in media. This research studied the challenges that face Egyptian public television in the 21st century, outlining the relationship between media and the different powers influencing Egyptian television from the points of view of the cultural and political elites. The researcher conducted a survey of 50 members of Egyptian cultural and political elites including university professors, authors, journalists, politicians, activists, actors, actresses, singers, athletes, bankers and television presenters to ask how Egyptian media should be organized for democracy to exist.

Cheterian: Webster University Geneva, Switzerland
Digital technologies are generating massive amounts of information, but are we better informed?
 New technologies of communication are providing huge volumes of video, audio and text material in a very fast-growing and now nearly instantaneous manner. This rapid technological development is providing global audiences with new kinds of direct visibility on events that are taking place far away. New technologies permit users to upload millions of photos, video footage and text messages on various on-line platforms. We are better informed. But do we know more?

Teyeb: Maghreb Media Forum, Tunisia
From serving dictatorship to serving agendas: Different faces of the Tunisian media: Mainstream media, new media and social networks played a major role in all that has happened in Tunisia since early 2011. They contributed to the ousting of the former Tunisian police-state regime. Nevertheless, they also played a decisive role in defending and preserving corrupt and criminal mechanisms of the old regime. And they deeply influenced the events that led to the difficulties encountered by the nascent democracy in the country and, eventually, the return of the old regime’s symbols and policies.  We can make conclusions as to the extent of the influence this behavior of the Tunisian media had on the political, social, economic, and security developments in the country between 2011 and 2015.

Moderator: Shadia Nasralla


Vicken Cheterian

Adjunct Professor, Webster University Geneva
Dr. Vicken Cheterian lectures at Webster Geneva Media Communications department. He holds a PhD from the University of Geneva, and has worked as correspondent for a number of publications, incl. Le Monde Diplomatique, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Al-Hayat and others. He is the founder of Caucasus Media Institute in Yerevan, and has consulted a number of international organizations and development agencies on media development and conflict... Read More →
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Mourad Teyeb

President, Maghreb Media Forum
Mourad Teyeb is a Tunisian journalist and media researcher. He has been working in the print, online and broadcast industries for 15 years, and has covered issues ranging from politics, transition and conflicts to business, sports and arts, in English, French and Arabic. Since the huge changes in Tunisia and the North-Africa region started in 2011, his focus has mainly been on issues ranging from democratic transition to media... Read More →
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Barbara Trionfi

Executive Director, International Press Institute
With an academic background in international relations and human rights, Barbara Trionfi joined the International Press Institute (IPI) in 2000 as a press freedom adviser for the Asia-Pacific region, where she had studied and worked for over two years, carrying out research in the field of human rights and freedom of expression.Later, as press freedom manager, she oversaw IPI’s global press freedom activities. Today, as executive director... Read More →

Dina Farouk Abou Zeid

Associate Professor, Ain Shams University
Dr. Dina Farouk Abou Zeid is an Egyptian Associate Professor in Mass Communication Department, Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University in Egypt. She received her BA (96) and MA (2001) both from Mass Communication Department at the American University in Cairo. She received her PhD (2007) with honors from Mass Communication Department, Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University. She is the author of "Television Presenter's Skills". She lectures in... Read More →

Saturday September 12, 2015 9:30am - 10:45am


Users and Consumers

Gollatz & Ganguli: Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society; The London School of Economics and Political Science, Germany/UK
“You own your content, but…” - Tracing changing notions of ownership over user content in social media platforms’ policies: Owing to the widespread reluctance to create statutes combined with the proclivity of social media platforms for contracts (Bygrave, 2013), the ownership of digital content, especially those generated by users are increasingly being controlled through platforms’ Terms of Service (ToS). These ToS constrain ownership by defining “what the consumer is allowed to do” (Brown, 2013). Drawing on philosophical approaches for justification of ownership, we track the evolution of control over ownership by analyzing the changes in ToS across varied social media websites. We selected six major social media platforms with diverse features - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr and LinkedIn. We apply a philosophical approach to corporate policy making that advances our understanding of the policies that govern the control and ownership of user content. Second, we develop a system of categorization, which allows us to conceptualize the notion of ownership over data and content in commercial online settings. Finally, we highlight how this notion has changed in an increasingly intermediated online communication environment.

Smith: Webster University St Louis, USA
How the website "YouNow" changes the typical media power structure: The triumph of Web 2.0 technologies has been the democratization of content production. We are no longer held captive solely by outlets controlled by government or corporate entities thanks to the Web. In addition, consumers are no longer passive, we crave interactivity. There is perhaps no better example of this revolution than the website YouNow, which offers streaming television-like programs of anyone with a cell phone or a webcam. My presentation in Vienna will consider a YouNow overview, an analysis of the user demographics as well as any corporate sponsorship that live-streamers may be using.  I would also demonstrate a way in which YouNow could be used as a teaching tool in a university-flipped classroom, where students are empowered to take control of their own learning through media.

Jorgensen: Webster University Geneva, Switzerland
Consumer surveillance: Innovations in “fighting back”: While much surveillance research and public comment focus on the extensive global government surveillance to which Internet and cell phone users have been subjected, research, journalistic and other sources of revelations on unpublicized, unwarranted commercial misuse and abuse of consumer clients’ biometric and content data have resulted in ever-growing and increasingly vocal public dissent.  These developments represent a paradigmatic shift in consumer strategy.

Moderator: Gary Ford

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Arpan Ganguli

Graduate Student, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Arpan Ganguli is currently a Graduate Student of Media and Communications at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Having worked in the corporate world, Arpan is now interested in the policy and governance aspects of the Internet.
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Kirsten Gollatz

Project Manager Policy & Governance, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Germany
Kirsten Gollatz is project manager at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society where she works on free speech online. She is involved in the international Ranking Digital Rights project, and contributed research to a current UNESCO report on the role of Internet intermediaries. In her doctoral thesis Kirsten investigates the evolution of private transnational governance for user content. Kirsten was a research intern at the... Read More →

Rebekah Jorgensen

MA Program Coordinator, Webster University Geneva
Dr. Rebekah Jorgensen, MA Program Coordinator in Media Communications at Webster University Geneva, began her research in media policies and their intercultural impact at the Ohio State. Her doctoral research on the influences of American media on Romanian adolescents was repeated in 2014 when she returned to do a follow-up comparative study about the on-going influences of the media. In between, she taught in California (UCLA, UCSB) and worked... Read More →
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Julie Smith

Professor, Webster University
Julie is the author of "Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save our Plugged-In World" and has presented across the country and in Europe on the importance of media literacy. She has taught at Webster University in St Louis for fifteen years. | She's a social media apologist and encourages use of social media as well as cell phones in the classroom.

Saturday September 12, 2015 9:30am - 10:45am


Communication Theory, Ethics and Law

Duffy: Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA
A look at global norms surrounding media law: While definitions of free expression can vary widely from country to country, judiciaries and other bodies agree on many areas regarding the regulation of speech and the media. This talk will explore the emerging “global norms” that can be found by surveying the legal environment in many nations, particularly those that value good journalism and robust free speech. These global norms are particularly recognized by agencies inside the United Nations and the rulings of International Regional Courts such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Ferreira: Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal
Marketing strategies of political engagement: Aristotle's Rhetoric is an important legacy to this field of study because the philosopher presents a definition of rhetoric, its object and how the speaker should argue to effectively reach an audience. We begin with a reference to the concept of ethos because we understand that this is no more than the character or profile that shows while the speaker utters his speech and that, in our view, corresponds to the image that the speaker/political entity broadcasts. We will focus on the upgrading of political discourse, subjected to grammar specific language of the media and their aesthetic standards, generating - and asking - new skills of politicians, such as knowledge about the target, good appearance and image management but also about anything that concerns audiences in order to create engagement.

Rodriguez-Amat: Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Phatic rules: From communicative contents to spaces of interaction:
 Cloud and data enclosures, ubiquitous computing, software and social networking sites, interface and mobile research, geolocated media or information and big data are concepts that do not go easily together. They coincide under timely coordinates but seem to refer to disperse aspects of a complex environment of technological developments. However, these areas can all be understood as symptoms of a fundamental epistemological shift that opens a discussion on ownership, legitimacy, governance and power.  This paper explores the diverse facets of available literature and identifies the theoretical and empirical frames from which this field can be explored. The intention is to elaborate a conceptual map that deals with the extension of what seems to be a major epistemological and theoretical communicative shift in the governance of media-information.

Moderator: Anthony Löwstedt


Matt J. Duffy

Professor, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Matt J. Duffy studies international media law with a focus on the global norms that balance legitimate regulation of speech with protections for free expression. Duffy is the author of the book "Media Laws in the United Arab Emirates" and his legal analysis of Arabian Gulf communication regulations was published in the Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law. He serves on the board of directors of the Arab-US Association for... Read More →
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Ivone Ferreira

Adjunct Professor, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal
Dr. Ivone Ferreira is Coordinator of the 1st cycle in Social Communication at the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal. With a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences on TV advertising, Ivone Ferreira teaches in the fields of advertising and marketing.
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Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat

Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr. Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat is Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. He was previously Assistant Professor at the Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (University of Vienna) after having been full time teacher and researcher at the University of Vic (Barcelona, Spain). His research focuses on the governance of communicative spaces understood as the intersection between cultural and social practices, technology and... Read More →

Saturday September 12, 2015 11:00am - 12:15pm


Corporate Pressure, Declining Quality?

Sakai: Bunkyo University, Japan
Responsibility of media studies for information governance in relation to nuclear power technology: The Japanese media fell short in its monitoring of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, which was unquestionably a manmade disaster brought about by neglect and “law of the nuclear power village,”. Prior to the disaster, citizens had believed that nuclear power plants are safe and information disclosure is unnecessary. Employing a framework that draws concepts from sociology and media studies, the current research aims to clarify the different contexts for nuclear power policy, on which coverage by the Japanese media has been unsatisfactory, and help enhance the practice of information management as regards nuclear power technology. Toward this end, this study analyzed news articles on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster gathered from newspapers and websites.

Kovarova-Simecek: Fachhochschule St. Pölten, Austria
Financial illiteracy as a supportive aspect of the failure of financial journalism: One of the most notable features of a financial crisis has been the post-crisis critique of financial journalism. This criticism is based upon the normative expectation that financial journalism can and should prevent financial crisis by reporting the emerging evidence of a possible collapse and alerting the public to the signs a catastrophe (Manning 2012; Ragas, Tran 2014). Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.

Sterba: St John's University / College of St. Benedict, USA
Corporate pressure on U.S. TV series content as exemplified by Joss Whedon’s battle with Fox over Dollhouse and Firefly:  Fox Television is a noticeably schizophrenic corporation. The company divides into a conservative news branch and a television entertainment division that strove to be alternative and innovative in order to attract an audience and guarantee it success as the up-and-coming, fourth network in the 1980s and 1990s. Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and Firefly series were heavily leaned on and modified by the network in terms of content. In examining network treatment of the shows, it seems that neither Theodor Adorno’s model of culture industry pablum for the masses nor Walter Benjamin’s vision of a new free technology for the masses can explain the tenor of the Whedon shows that ended up being broadcast.

Moderator: TBA


Monika Kovarova-Simecek

Fachhochschule St. Pölten
Monika Kovarova-Simecek has academic experience as University Lecturer at the UAS St. Pölten, Department Media & Economics; as a doctoral student at Universität Wien (research topic: history of financial journalism and democratization of financial expertise); and as a university lecturer at the UAS FH Wien / Metropolia Business School Helsinki / UAS Oulu / Technical University Vilnius / INSEEC Paris and Bordeaux (since 2006... Read More →

Makoto Sakai

Associate Professor, BUNKO UNIVERSITY, JAPAN
Dr. Makoto Sakai was educated in Japan and received his Ph.D. (Media and Governance) from the Keio University, which is the oldest university in Japan. He is the author of three books that analyze Japanese contemporary society and culture (of two books as the sole author). He is also a journalist and has written articles for political and opinion magazines in Japan. His present post is full-time and tenure Associate Professor of Bunkyo University... Read More →

Wendy Sterba

Professor, St John's University / College of St. Benedict
Wendy Sterba is a professor of Film and Languages and Culture at St John's University/College of St. Benedict. Her research involves media aesthetics and the echoes of technological and corporate power in contemporary film with focuses on gender and apocalypse. Her recent books include Reel Photos: Balancing Art and Truth in Contemporary Film and J.J. vs Joss, an analysis of the works of JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.

Saturday September 12, 2015 11:00am - 12:15pm


Wrap up and Award Ceremony

The top three papers presented at the conference will receive awards; Webster University media professors Freund and Rothenbuhler will summarize and comment on the Media Trends conference series.

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Michael Freund

Media Communications Department Head, Webster Vienna Private University
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Freund, former head of the Media Communications Department at Webster University Vienna, is also an editor at Der Standard newspaper, Vienna. He studied at the University of Heidelberg, and at Columbia University where he received his M.Phil, MA, and PhD degrees. His teaching and research is in journalism and media communications. His professional career includes the Marienthal Revisited research study... Read More →
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Eric Rothenbuhler

Dean, School of Communications, Webster University St. Louis
Dr. Eric W. Rothenbuhler is Dean of the School of Communications and a professor at Webster University in St. Louis. He was previously associate dean of the Scripps College of Communication and a professor of media arts and studies at Ohio University (2010-2012), director of the media studies MA program at New School University (2001-2004), and a faculty... Read More →

Saturday September 12, 2015 12:30pm - 1:30pm


Lunch and Goodbye
Saturday September 12, 2015 1:30pm - 2:00pm


Walking Tour of Vienna (opt)
Explore our city and learn a bit about the Habsburgs. 15 euros per person. Minimum participation 5 people. Must sign up to participate. Pay the tour guide directly on Saturday.

Saturday September 12, 2015 2:30pm - 4:30pm