"Whatever we know about our society – or indeed, about the world in which we live, we know through the mass media." Niklas Luhmann's dictum sums up the role of the media in modern society as a factor of power, economics and culture. The claim on Media Studies is two-fold: The society ruled by media constantly needs new, well-educated individuals who can live up to expectations and the media society needs reference information on the structures and processes of public communication - in other words, it needs to know itself.
The Institute of Media Studies offers a combination of research, teaching and practice. It forms the base of modern education and training. It is based on science and yet professionally oriented; it is linked to the market but not controlled by it, and thus it preserves the autonomy of the university while emphasising the inherent value of scientific reflection.
"Media" as a field of work is undergoing change. This is why the courses offered by the Institute of Media Studies are designed to ensure you acquire professional competencies, rather than merely imparting vocational skills. You will acquire more than individual techniques (which are constantly changing anyway), and the intensive group and project work will provide you with analytical, methodical, practical and strategic competencies. The media teaching staff is supported by numerous experienced lecturers from the media world. This gives you major advantages over those who are limited to specific occupational fields as the result of having received a purely skilled crafts training. Graduates in Media Studies from Tübingen now work for various major magazines and newspapers, TV channels and radio stations, in media management, advertising agencies and media research everywhere.
Speed and the blurring of boundaries are prominent features of the 21st century media world. New formats and technical platforms are constantly being created. Established distinctions between the various media are disappearing - as are the boundaries between the transmitters and receivers of media content. Classic mass media are fusing with Internet portals and social networks, fulfilling Andy Warhol's prediction that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame.
Media Studies at Tübingen responds to the increased presence of the media in public and private spheres with an integrative goal. The Department forms the base for a new kind of cooperation between the most important approaches of media and communications science. It deepens the exchange between social scientific / empirical, intellectual / hermeneutic and practical media concepts, and encourages cooperation with researchers all over the world. The thematic spectrum ranges from journalism, advertising and PR to entertainment formats and fictional forms. The production conditions of the media content and their psychological and social effects are illuminated.
The Institute of Media Studies is actively involved in the self-enlightenment of the media society. It sees itself as a scientific centre of competence whose researchers offer their expertise to the media and to the public. The transfer is achieved through popular scientific publications and lectures, by responding to press enquiries, giving interviews, providing consultancy services to companies and public bodies, taking part in discussion events, supporting further training, and media-related school and film projects. The transfer of knowledge is an inherent feature of the teaching process. Teaching/research projects that end in popular scientific publications teach students how to give the results of their research public appeal.
One important interface between the Department and the Tübingen region is the "Tübinger Mediendozentur", the media lectureship that was created in cooperation with Studio Tübingen of the Südwestrundfunk. Science and its application are combined in workshops and lectures by well-known media personalities, projects and joint events. Past guest speakers include Peter Voss (2004), Claus Kleber (2005), Frank Plasberg (2006), Maybrit Illner (2007), Patrick Leclercq (2008), Giovanni di Lorenzo (2009), Alice Schwarzer (2010), Frank Schirrmacher (2011), Hans Leyendecker (2012), Ulrich Deppendorf (2013), Mathias Döpfner (2014), Miriam Meckel (2015), Sascha Lobo (2016) and Georg Mascolo (2017).