Research on the Transformations of Public Communication

International and Transnational Communication * Environmental and Science Communication * Journalism and Media Change

Published in Nature Climate Change: The appeasement effect of a United Nations climate summit on the German public

The annual UN climate summits receive intense global media coverage1,2,3, and as such could engage local publics around the world, stimulate debate and knowledge about climate politics, and, ultimately, mobilize people to combat climate change. Here we show that, in contrast to these hopes, although the German public were exposed to news about the 2015 Paris summit, they did not engage with it in a more active way. Comparing knowledge and attitudes before, during and after the summit using a three-wave online panel survey (quota sample, N = 1,121), we find that respondents learnt a few basic facts about the conference but they continue to lack basic background knowledge about climate policy. Trust in global climate policy increased a little, but citizens were less inclined to support a leading role for Germany in climate politics. Moreover, they were not more likely to engage personally in climate protection. These results suggest that this global media event had a modest appeasing rather than mobilizing effect.

Published in Global Environmental Change: Beyond false balance: How interpretive journalism shapes media coverage of climate change

Cover image Global Environmental Change
 The study links an analysis of media content to a survey of the authors of the respective articles. It covers leading print and online news outlets in Germany, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland. It finds that climate journalism has moved beyond the norm of balance towards a more interpretive pattern of journalism. Quoting contrarian voices still is part of transnational climate coverage, but these quotes are contextualized with a dismissal of climate change denial. Yet, niches of denial persist in certain contexts, and much journalistic attention is focused on the narrative of ‘warners vs. deniers,’ and overlooks the more relevant debates about climate change.

 Published ten years after Hallin and Mancini's seminal study on media systems, we have revisited their framework.

Brüggemann, Michael; Engesser, Sven; Büchel, Florin; Humprecht, Edda; Castro, Laia (2014): Hallin and Mancini Revisited: Four Empirical Types of Western Media Systems. In: Journal of Communication, S. n/a. DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12127.

If you have access to the Jornal of Communication, please follow this link.

Otherwise, please find the accepted final manuscript here.


How journalists contribute to the framing of public issues in media content

Brüggemann, M. (2014). Between Frame Setting and Frame Sending: How Journalists Contribute to News Frames. Communication Theory, 24(1), 61–82. doi:10.1111/comt.12027  

Abstract: Journalistic framing practices are situated on a continuum between frame setting and frame sending. Journalists frame their articles more or less in line with their own interpretations. The challenge for research is to identify the conditions that determine the degree of journalistic frame setting. The article therefore identifies mechanisms and factors that play a role in determining to what degree journalistic frame enactment takes place.

See the journals' website.

In case your university is not able to provide access to the journal, you will find accepted manuscript for your personal non-commercial use here:


Journalists' assessment of climate change

Brüggemann, M. / Engesser, S. (2014). Between consensus and denial: Climate journalists as interpretive community. In: Science Communication, 36 (4), 399-427.

Abstract: This study focuses on climate journalists as key mediators between science and the public sphere. It surveys journalists from five countries and from five types of leading news outlets. Despite their different contexts, journalists form an interpretive community sharing the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change and agreeing on how to handle climate-change skeptics.

The final publication is available online on the website of the journal.

Find the accepted manuscript here:


 Awarded "article of the year 2013" by the European Journal of Communication

This article elaborates the idea of different degrees of cosmopolitan coverage in different media outlets. It tries to explain why some newspapers are more cosmopolitan than others.

Brüggemann, M./ Kleinen-v. Königslöw, K. (2013): Explaining Cosmopolitan Coverage: Causal Recipes for Patterns of Foreign News Coverage in European Newspapers. In: European Journal of Communication, 28 (4). doi:10.1177/0267323113484607

Abstract: Research on international news flows has mostly aimed to explain why certain countries and regions are more reported on than others. There are few studies, however, on the reasons why some media outlets cover foreign affairs more intensively than others. Using FsQCA this article shall extend our current knowledge by mapping different degrees of cosmopolitan coverage and identifying key explanatory conditions.

Available online at:

If your university is not able to provide access to this journal, please visit my download page .


How do journalists come up with ideas for their topics and are there common patterns of journalistic practice across countries? A new article deals with this question taking European coverage as a case study.

Brüggemann, M. (2013): Transnational trigger constellations: Reconstructing the story behind the story. Journalism. Theory, Practice and Criticism, 14(3), 401–418. doi:10.1177/1464884912453284

Abstract: Understanding how the topics of news stories are socially constructed through journalistic practices is an important question for the study of journalism. We contribute to this strand of research by reconstructing the process of news making from the perspective of the journalists. The method used for this purpose is the comparative reconstruction of the 'biographies' of news stories by interviewing the authors of news stories. This was done during the same two weeks covering European news in 23 elite, popular and regional newspapers in six countries (Great Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Denmark and Austria). A cluster analysis identifies the complex constellations of different components that trigger European news making. Four trigger constellations co-exist that represent different sets of journalistic practices of news making. These transnational patterns of journalistic practices show that journalism is not only a professional community based on a common professional ideology, but that journalism is a transnational community of practice.

Available online at:

If your university is not able to provide access to this journal, please visit my download page .



Germany's media are still doing well in spite of a lot of talk about the crisis of journalism. This article analyzes how crisis talk is part of a successful strategy of the German publishers to shape media policy making.

Brüggemann, M.; Esser, F.; Humprecht, E. (2012): The Strategic Repertoire of Publishers in the Media Crisis: The “Five C” Scheme in Germany. In: Journalism Studies [iFirst: 22.3.2012.]

Abstract: Germany could be considered a deviant case in the comparative study of the current transformations in media markets as publishers continue to be profitable despite painting a gloomy picture of the possibility of there being a “media crisis.” What is specific about the German case is the strong economic position and political lobbying of the publisher associations. Combining different sources of primary and secondary data, this article investigates five strategies of crisis management (“the five Cs”): media companies may react to the current changes by cutting down costs and creating new products. They may further try to influence the general framework conditions by complaining about their plight in public (discursive strategy), taking competitors to court (legal strategy) and wooing politicians through lobbying and campaigning (political strategy). The article concludes that the sustainable provision of journalistic value benefits the most from creative, productive strategies.

Available online at:  

If your university is not able to provide access to this journal, please visit my download page .



You may order the book at URL: http://www.nomos-shop.deJust published: Transnational Cultures of Journalism (published in German)

Brüggemann, M. (2012): Transnationale Kulturen des Journalismus. Praktiken journalistischer Themenfindung im Vergleich. In: Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft 60, Sonderband Nr. 2 Grenzüberschreitende Medienkommunikation, 76-92.

Abstract: Eine ganz zentrale Tätigkeit von Journalisten ist die Themenfindung, die sich aus kommunikationswissenschaftlicher Sicht als von verschiedenen Faktoren beeinflusste redaktionelle Themenkonstruktion darstellt. Ziel dieser Studie ist die Identifikation von typischen Mustern redaktioneller Themenkonstruktion in der Europaberichterstattung. Dazu wurden die Autoren journalistischer Artikel interviewt, um aus Akteurssicht die „Biographien“ ausgewählter Artikel der Europaberichterstattung von 23 Tageszeitungen insechs EU-Mitgliedstaaten zu rekonstruieren. Die Interviews wurden qualitativ undquantitativ inhaltsanalytisch ausgewertet. Mittels Cluster- und Varianzanalysen wurdentypische Muster journalistischer Themenkonstruktion identifiziert und ihre Verteilungauf Länder und Zeitungstypen untersucht. Grenzüberschreitend geteilte Praktiken der Themenfindung verweisen auf die Existenz transnationaler Kulturen des Journalismus,die über die grenzüberschreitende wechselseitige Beobachtung der Medien stabilisiert werden.

If your university is not able to provide access to this journal, please visit my download page.


Further content on this website:


Contact / Imprint / Content responsibility / Legal disclaimers according to German law

i. P. V. § 5 TMG and § 55 Abs. 2 RStV

Kontakt: Michael Brüggemann, Allende-Pl.1, 20146 Hamburg, Tel.: +49(0)40-42838-7128


 Haftung für Inhalte: Im Sinne von § 7 Absatz 1 TMG bin ich für die eigenen Inhalte auf dieser Webseite verantwortlich.

Datenschutzerklärung: Diese Webseite sammelt keine personenbezogenen Daten. Im Hinblick auf die Links zu meinem Twitter-Account und das von Twitter angebotene Fenster verweise ich auf die Datenschutzerklärung von Twitter.