Institute of Media Studies

Prof. Dr. Martina Thiele

Prof. Dr. Martina Thiele is Professor of Media Studies and holder of the Chair of Digitalization and Social Responsibility

 Chair of Digitalization and Social Responsibility

University of Tübingen
Institute for Media Studies
Wilhelmstraße 50
D-72074 Tübingen
Room 130a


 +49 (0) 7071 29-75302

Current news

Office hours in the summer semester 2024

For appointments, please contact Ute Eberhardt by phone or email, specifying your concern (+49 7071 29-72346 / ute.eberhardtspam

Lecture "Media - War - Gender: Old and New Stereotypes in Digitized Public Spheres"

On November 27, 2023, Prof. Dr. Martina Thiele will lecture on the topic "Gender Stereotypes in Times of War" and will discuss the media construction of hero and enemy images. The conference program can be found here: 
A compilation of publications on the topic of media and war can be found here: Publications on Media and War

The Instagram Project @ichbinsophiescholl by SWR and BR as a Media Ethical Challenge

The 2023 annual conference of the DGPuK Division for Communication and Media Ethics was dedicated to the topic "Digitalized Mass Communication and Responsibility. Politics, Economics, and Ethics of Platforms." Martina Thiele and Tanja Thomas participated and presented on the topic "Instagram to fulfill the public service mandate? What was not discussed in the debate about @ichbinsophiescholl." They identified the lack of critical engagement with the "cooperation" between fee-funded public broadcasters and data-collecting platforms of tech corporations like Meta as a "blind spot" in the media discourse about the so-called "lighthouse project" by SWR and BR. A report on the event in M – Menschen machen Medien can be found here, and a scholarly article by the speakers on the topic in the Journalistik/Journalism Research magazine here.

Martina Thiele reviews the volume "War Reporters" by Rita Kohlmaier for r:k:m.
The volume is now available at a discounted price from the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB), see:

In the 2nd edition of the "Handbook of Journalism Theories," Martina Thiele and Elisabeth Lueginger discuss "Audiences of Journalism." Link to the contribution in the "Journalism Theories" handbook:

In the volume "New Perspectives on Imagology," Martina Thiele's contribution "Categories, Stereotypes, Images, and Intersectionality" has been published. The open access volume is available at

"Journalistikon – the Dictionary of Journalism" now also explains "Cancel Culture." And in issue 1/2020 of the Journalistik magazine, you can find the article "Political Correctness and Cancel Culture – a Question of Power! A Plea for a Change of Perspective."

The "Handbook of Political Journalism" has been published. Martina Thiele's contribution deals with "Stereotyping."
Thiele, Martina (2021): Stereotyping. In: Handbook of Political Journalism. Edited by Marlis Prinzing and Roger Blum. Cologne: Herbert von Halem, pp. 618-625. 



The professorship represents the field of Media Studies in its breadth while simultaneously focusing on digitalization and social responsibility. Digitalization permeates all areas of life, fundamentally changing media production, content, and usage. Hence, media and communication studies are also "digitalization studies." This has been the case not only since digitalization became a top priority for politics and business but for more than three decades. From the perspective of a socially and culturally grounded, interdisciplinary media studies, it's crucial to grasp digitalization in its technical, economic, legal, ethical, and social dimensions to analyze individual and societal causes and consequences of changed media behavior and to engage in societal discourse.

With this understanding of the field and knowing that processes of delimitation are accelerating – whether between communicators and recipients, public and private spheres, journalism and public relations, national and transnational media cultures, or information and entertainment – the chair focuses on two thematic areas: one encompasses the relationship between public spheres, media, democracy, and is situated more at the macro level, the other focuses on social inequality, on inclusion and exclusion in and through media, taking a micro- and meso-level perspective. Central to this are the transformation processes through digitally networked media, the formation of protest movements and alternative publics, the inclusion and exclusion of social groups, opportunities for participation, media action, and media appropriation. Research on media and stereotypes from an intersectional perspective allows for connecting these thematic areas, grounding them theoretically, and addressing them empirically, for instance, by examining the reproduction of gender stereotypes and racism through algorithms and artificial intelligence.

A key concern for the scientists working at the chair is to represent a public theory-based, participation-oriented, (ideology-)critical stance both within and outside the university, and to communicate digitalization as a complex and consequential phenomenon that can nevertheless be actively shaped. Knowledge transfer is intended to occur in multiple directions. With the new focus "Public Sphere and Responsibility" of the Tübingen Master's program in Media Studies, there are ample opportunities to impart knowledge on public spheres, media cultures, and responsible media action to students and all interested citizens with the goal of invigorating societal discourse.

Curriculum Vitae

Martina Thiele studied Slavic Philology, Journalism and Communication Science, Political Science, and German Studies at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. She worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Journalism and Communication Science and earned her PhD with a thesis on "Journalistic Controversies over the Holocaust in Film." In 2001, she moved to the Dortmund Institute for Journalism and worked as a research assistant in the DFG priority program "Reading Socialization in Information Media." Additionally, she was active in journalism and consulting, including for the Mediaconsulting Team.

From 2003 to 2020, Dr. Martina Thiele researched and taught at the Department of Communication Science of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg. Her research and teaching focused on theories of communication, media systems in international comparison, communication and media history, public spheres, and social inequality in and through media. Her postdoctoral thesis "Media and Stereotypes. Contours of a Research Field" was published in 2015 in the Critical Media Studies series by transcript Publishing.

Prof. Dr. Martina Thiele has been a member and later chair of the Interdisciplinary Expert Council for Gender Studies at the University of Salzburg since 2010. She applied for and led the Doctorate School gender_transcultural, funded by the State of Salzburg, from 2016 to 2020. She received an offer for a professorship in Gender Studies at the PLUS at the same time as a call from Tübingen. Since May 2020, Martina Thiele has been teaching and researching as a Professor with a focus on Digitalization and Social Responsibility at the Tübingen Institute for Media Studies.


(Please note list is in German) download here.


Prof. Dr. Martina Thiele is a member of various scientific associations (DGPuK, ÖGK, ECREA, IAMCR) and research networks. She serves as a co-editor of the Journalistik journal, which publishes in both German and English, and is on the advisory board of Medien & Zeit, Global Media Journal, and SCM. Additionally, she acts as a reviewer for other professional publications.

  • 2007-2011: Spokesperson for the DGPuK division on Media, Public Sphere, and Gender.
  • Since 2019: Member of the DGPuK Theory Prize Jury.
  • Since 2020: Member of the jury for the Hans Bausch Media Prize.
  • Since 2021: Member of the Habilitation Committee of the Faculty of Philosophy.
  • Since 2022: Member of the jury for the Digital Education Award.
  • Since 2022: Member of the advisory board for the Tübingen Forum for Science Cultures.
  • Since 2023: Member of the commission elected by the Senate of the University of Tübingen to investigate misconduct in science.

Completed Third-Party Funded Research Projects

Since 2016, Prof. Dr. Martina Thiele and her team have been conducting annual research projects on gender constructions in the program of Austrian public broadcaster ORF, commissioned by ORF Media Research and the ORF Equal Opportunities Commission. Various magazine shows, sports coverage, and news programs have been studied to date. In 2019, a comprehensive review of the entire programming of ORF1 and ORF2 was conducted on a specific date. This gender monitoring aims at a project similar to the BBC's 50:50 Project: the editorial teams develop approaches with the researchers for more gender equality in the newsrooms – and on screen.

The projects also include the Doctorate School gender_transcultural, funded by third-party funds. The State of Salzburg financed two doctoral positions over four years.

Commissioned by the parliamentary group of the Green Party, Thiele conducted a study in 2019 on politics and language, framing, and discourse shifts. The focus was on the parliamentary initiatives, motions, and inquiries of the FPÖ party.

Supervised theses