Welcome to IIC conference19!


The International and Intercultural Communication section (IIC) is part of the German communications scholars network DGPuK, a non-profit academic network.

This years annual conference is a joint conference of the section International and Intercultural Communication (DGPuK) and the network  Network Media Structures and is hosted by the Erich-Brost-institute in Dortmund/Germany and affiliated to the Institute for Media Studies (IfM), Ruhr-University, Bochum/Germany.

Conference Dates: October 24-25, 2019

Venue: Erich-Brost Institute, Dortmund/Germany

Extended deadline for proposal submission: 15. July 2019 (CfP)

Submissions in English via email to: iiC-conference2019@rub.de

The conference organizers are looking forward to welcome you at the conference!     Dr. Christine Horz (Chair of the section International and Intercultural Communication (IIC), DGPuK; Ruhr University Bochum), Dr. Julia Lönnendonker (Vice chair of IIC; Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Dr. Florian Meißner (University Dusseldorf), Dr. Leyla Dogruel (Network Media Structures, University Mainz)



Joint conference of the section International and Intercultural Communication (DGPuK) and the network Media Structures and affiliated to theInstitute for Media Studies (IfM), Ruhr-University, Bochum (Germany).


October 24-25, 2019

Venue: Erich-Brost Institute, Dortmund/Germany

Extended deadline for proposal submission: 15. July 2019

Submissions in English via email to: IIC-conference2019@rub.de

The disruptive transformations of the media ecology are in the focus of media scholars and politicians world-wide. Technological and cultural changes as well as major shifts in audience behaviour are core drivers of these transformations, which can be observed in various sectors, refer to different aspects of media systems, and are based on intertwined, but often contradictory and dialectical dynamics (D’Haenens, Sousa & Trappel 2018). Transformations of the media ecology have to be considered in a wider scope of challenges of democracies in the digital age. The planned conference aims to bring together research that addresses current developments and challenges with regard to four dimensions:

1. Media policy, strategies and regulation are crucially challenged by meta-narratives such as globalization and digitization, since they have historically evolved through national regulatory routines (Holtz-Bacha 1994). Scholars and politicians alike critically assess questions whether the information available to citizens is sufficient to build an informed citizenry and what kind of regulation of digital media contributes to plurality and diversity. Moreover, civil society demands for more involvement and participation in content creation and regulation. Contributions to the planned conference will debate the (re-)formulation of public service media (PSM and the extent to what a „Civic Commons Online“ is necessary. A possible point of discussion is whether public service media (PSM) are in the position to establish such a deliberative space complementing both public sphere and parliamentary debate (e.g. Ramsey 2013; Schweizer 2016).

2. At the economic and innovations level, commercial media in Europe have always been challenged to balance between fulfilling the professional norms of journalism by acting as a watchdog to the government while at the same time making profit. However, with the loss in revenues, this tension became more intense. Many media institutions cut costs and reduced the number of staff, which in consequence limited the ability of the media to act as a watchdog (McChesney & Nichols, 2010; Pickard, 2011; Siles & Boczkowski, 2012; Starkman, 2014). Conference contributions are asked to address commonalities and differences of economic challenges in the private and PSM sector and discuss alternative funding schemes (Kiefer 2011, Schweizer & Puppis 2018). The question to what extent the nexus between economy and media quality is addressed in media strategies will be of interest.

3. At the content level, despite the described crisis in journalism, it has never been easier for the audience to receive and publish information, while at the same time it has never been more difficult to evaluate the quality of information gained. The number of digital media outlets, blogs and social media posts seems to be expanding continuously and technological innovations such as recommender systems allow for personalized user experience, audience interaction and may also foster user participation on the content level.However, the establishment of so called social networks has been accompanied by undesired developments such as the rise of hate speech, an increased influence of populist spin on the formation of public opinion (Sponholz 2018) and disinformation (Report of the High-Level Group on Fake News and online disinformation 2018). Paradoxically, while governments and regulators discuss how to hold social networks accountable, established and publicly funded media have become customers of these companies in the meantime, because they enable, for example, PSM to reach younger audiences in order to fulfil their public remit (Sehl, Cornia & Kleis Nielsen 2018). Conference contributions are asked to assess content innovations, public value and the ethics of journalism in the digital media world. Contributions may inquire in how far gamification or the automatization of journalistic content is in the public interest and address advantages and disadvantages of personalized information. What kind of debates and measures are necessary to tackle the future of the public remit of media in general and PSM in particular?

4. On an international comparative level, it is important to analyze how different media systems adapt to the current changes in the media landscape. In the non-Western world, digitization causes different problems and advantages; e.g. in post-conflict and developing countries well-established regulation structures and strategies do not exist. Comparative research can shed light on the question, in how far the digital era challenges the establishment of regulation patterns in various countries and regions (Sousa et al. 2013). We welcome conference contributions that discuss the most pressing challenges and/or innovations for deliberation, political representation and participation in the media in international comparison. We further invite contributions that aim at identifying patterns of similarities and differences across countries concerning press freedom, media subsidies, and the framework in which media act.

This international conference, hence, aims to bring together scholars and practitioners working on a variety of theoretical, methodological and practical issues arising from the investigation of media policy and regulation in digital environments. Questions to be discussed during the conference should be rooted in theoretical approaches and at the same time inform these approaches to broaden not only the scope of research, but also deliver key factors and messages to media practitioners, policy makers and regulators. The conference especially welcomes international comparative research, but is not limited to it, as case studies may be crucial to understand trends. Also, proposals with a transnational perspective dealing with trends and topics crossing borders are welcome. The call is open to theoretical contributions as well as various empirical designs.

There will be two lines of submission:

Proposals for individual papers: abstracts of no more than 500 words addressing one of the issues outlined above.

Proposals for panels with 4-5 papers in a panel: abstracts of no more than 1000 words.

Activating formats (i.e. Worldcafe, Workshop) are welcome.


Early bird registration (until September 1st): 45 €

Regular (i.e. fixed contract, professorship): 60 €

Reduced: (i.e. temporary contract, young scholar): 30 €

All attendees are requested to fill in the registration form prior to the conference: https://iic-conference19.blogs.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/


Photos from the Cultural program, October 23rd 2019: Yoko Ono Exhibiton Dortmund. Curated by Monika Lengauer (2nd, right)

Photos from the conference 24./25. October 2019

Keynote Day 1: Roberto Suarez Candel (EBU)
Keynote Day 1: Barbara Thomaß, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Keynote Day 2: Lizzie Jackson (London South Bank University)

Conference Program


Schedule IIC Conference 2019, October 24-25, Dortmund


– Cultural program for early arrivals: 16.30 h guided tour of the Yoko Ono exhibition:

“Add colour (Refugee Boat)”.

– Evening get-together – 18.30 h, Hövel Brewery Dortmund City.

Please indicate, if you can join until October 15th and write to christine.horz@rub.de

Conference Day 1: 24.10.2019
1. Keynote Speech:  R. Suarez Candel (Head of Media Intelligence,
EBU): The future for public service in the media market:
challenges and opportunities
2. Keynote Speech: B. Thomaß: Normative perspectives on media
regulation in digital environments
Coffee Break
Panel 1 Digital Media Regulation
J. Brinkmann (Mittweida): “Germanization” of International Media Policy Debates: The Strategic Repertoire of German Publishing Companies in the “Newspaper Crisis” and their
Influence on European Media Regulation.  

M. van Drunen (Amsterdam): Who will decide what is at the top of the newsfeed?
Cooperative organisational responsibility in EU media law.  

S. Fuchsloch (Dortmund): Platforms and intermediary services –
same same but different?  
Panel 2: PSM remit in digital environments
Ch. Herzog/ J. Meese (Lüneburg, Sidney): Public Service Media and the Re-articulation of Remits in the Digital Environment: A Comparative Resilience Management Framework

P. Schneiders (Mainz): In the future without text or without text no future? An evaluation of the reform of the telemedia mandate from a user perspective  
Response from practice: R. Amlung (ZDF)
Lunch Break
Panel 3: Platforms and digital Innovations
V. Grassmuck (Berlin): Protcol rather than Platform —
Towards a Networked European Public Sphere.  

Interactive Working groups
Coffee break
Panel 4: Challenges and trust in Media
C. Haupt (Geneva): The links between strong PSM and healthy democracies –
An international perspective  

A.Skolkay (Bratislava): Government Initiatives targeting Online Harms.

F.Meißner (Dusseldorf): Initiatives for assessing news site credibility.
The example of NewsGuard.  
End of
day 1
Conference Dinner (self-pay basis) Pfefferkorn (Steaks and vegetarian menue)
        Conference Day 2: 25.10.2019
3. Keynote Speech: Lizzie Jackson (London):
Fuzzy Media: The Need for Fluidity and Sociable Partnerships
Panel 5: Journalistic discourses on media regulation

Ch. Herzog/ A. Scerbinina (Lüneburg, Rotterdam): “Self-centered,
self-promoting, and self-legitimizing”: CNN’s portrayal of media ownership
concentration in the US”  

A. Školkay (Bratislava): Analysis of Global Media Discourse.
Coffee Break
Panel 6: (Digital) Media policy and regulation in transitional contexts
A.Wollenberg (Berlin): Media policy and (de-)regulation in transitional environments:
a comparison of emerging media structures in Iraq and Tunisia.  

M. Hradický, A. Koltay, Ľ. Kukliš, J. T. Papp, A. Školkay  (Bratislava): Digital
Media Governance in V-4: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia  

Intermediary Q&A and discussion

M. Torres Montenegro (Brussels): Politicization of ICT4D policy research:
new pathways to understand policy movement and digital development.  

R. Zaitoonie (Bochum): Emerging Challenges: The United Nations General Assembly’s
Efforts in the Field of Digital Development  
Farewell (plenum) & Lunch Break
FG- Sitzung Internationale und Interkulturelle Kommunication (DGPuK) Netzwerksitzung “Medienstrukturen”Final debate (plenum) and Farewell
End of

Keynote Speakers

Dr Roberto Suárez Candel (EBU)

Dr Roberto Suárez Candel is the Head of Strategy & Media Intelligence of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). He is responsible for the definition and implementation of the corporate strategy, ensuring the delivery of first-class services and value to EBU Members as well as fostering the adaptation of the company to the market and business changes.

He is also in charge of the Media Intelligence Service (MIS), the market research unit of the EBU, and leads the Public Service Media Contribution to Society strategic initiative, which helps EBU Members assess and explain the value they deliver to citizens. His work was focused on communication policy, public service media and ecology of the media. He has contributed to a broad range of international conferences and academic journals, and his research has been awarded several prizes. Roberto Suarez holds a PhD in Social Communication and a Masters in Communication Research from the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain).

Title of Keynote: Any future for public service in the media market? Challenges, hopes and opportunities


Barbara Thomaß (Ruhr University Bochum)

Barbara Thomaß is professor for international comparison of media systems at the Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr-University Bochum. In her work she is concerned with media systems in western and eastern Europe, european media policy, media development, media and journalistic ethics. Visiting professorships in Southampton, Vienna, Paris, and Montreal. Barbara Thomaß is also engaged in public service media ’s future development and is vice chair of the board of the second biggest PSM in Germany, ZDF. She is also Chair of the Academy for Journalism in Hamburg, Member of the European Media Research Group, und founding member of the Network Media Ethics.

Title and abstract:

Normative perspectives on media regulation in digital environments

Media regulation is in this contribution regarded as a normative endeavour: the aim of any media regulation is to enable the communicative discourse in a democratic society. Given the upheavals in the mediascape, we ask: In what way and to what extend are the current processes of media change critical to the pursuit of democratic norms and values in contemporary societies? Special attention is given to inequalities, which have been the unwanted companion of media and communications since public communications emerged. We try to elaborate, what kind of media and communication policy is needed to address inappropriate inequalities in the age of digital communications.


Prof. Dr. Lizzie Jackson (London South Banks University)

Professor Lizzie Jackson worked at the BBC for over 22 years, latterly in BBC R&D. Her thesis argued that the inclusion of Participatory Media has fundamentally changed the BBC’s relationship with audiences. She co-wrote the 2012 EU Directive on the Governance of Public Service Media and has just completed a three year study on high technology clusters in ten cities in North America and Europe. Lizzie is Director of Research in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at London South Bank University and President of the soon-to-launch International Association of Public Media Researchers.

Title and Abstract:

Fuzzy Media: The Need for Fluidity and Sociable Partnerships

The edges of media are becoming fuzzy, with new forms of media and communications combining and re-combining in a fluid interplay. Audiences swarm between memes and across platforms. Media and communications are becoming embedded in objects (the Internet of Things). For more traditional media firms, such as public service media, Fordist production still often dominates. Partnerships with other Media outlets is often restricted to the commissioning of content rather than other forms of creative co-working. It is argued that Learning partnership skills and evolving new forms of partnership production will be essential in the future. The evidence is based on a three-year ethnographic study (2016-19) of ten high technology clusters in North America and Europe.


Submissions and Inquiries via: