Climate Journalists as Interpretive Community: Identifying Transnational Frames of Climate Change (2013)


The framing of climate change in media coverage has been widely studied but the journalists’ role in frame building has not been sufficiently examined. This study identifies journalist frames on climate change: shared patterns of interpretation among journalists that may shape news content. The study surveyed climate journalists from 24 leading newspapers and online outlets in five countries (Germany, India, Switzerland, UK, and the USA). It follows an integrative approach to framing analysis, taking into account broader generic and issue specific frames. It finds that climate journalists form an interpretive community built around a common master frame and five (sub-)frames.

Brüggemann, Michael; Engesser, Sven (2013): Climate Journalists as Interpretive Community: Identifying Transnational Frames of Climate Change. NCCR Working Paper 59. Universität Zürich, Zürich. Available online at

Werden Medieninhalte immer schlechter? (2013)


Der Journalismus orientiert sich immer mehr an Sensation und Unterhaltung, ist verflacht unprofessionell und immer stärker auf Negatives fixiert. Dies ist der Tenor mancher Medienkritik– schon seit es publizistische Medien gibt. Implizit wird also angenommen, dass die journalistische Qualität immer schlechter werde. Aber auch wenn die Medien Anlass zu berechtigter Kritik bieten, so ist diese pauschale Behauptung doch wissenschaftlich kaum haltbar. Das hat zwei Gründe.

Brüggemann, Michael (2013): Werden die Medieninhalte immer schlechter? In DGPUK (Ed.): 50 Fragen, 50 Antworten, 50 Jahre DGPUK. Eichstätt / Hamburg, pp. 20–21. Available online at–-50-antworten-–-50-jahre-dgpuk.html.

Transnational trigger constellations: Reconstructing the story behind the story (2013)


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.

Brüggemann, Michael (2013): Transnational trigger constellations: Reconstructing the story behind the story. In Journalism. Theory, Practice and Criticism 14 (3), pp. 401–418. Available online at

The strategic repertoire of publishers in the media crisis: The “five C” scheme in Germany (2012)


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.

Brüggemann, Michael; Esser, Frank; Humprecht, Edda (2012): The Strategic Repertoire of Publishers in the Media Crisis. The “Five C” Scheme in Germany. In Journalism Studies 13 (5-6), pp. 742–752. Available online at

Explaining cosmopolitan coverage (2013)


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. This article thus extends our current knowledge by mapping different degrees of cosmopolitan coverage and identifying key conditions that help to explain these differences. Analysing foreign reporting and transnational debate in 12 newspapers from six European countries the study then employs FsQCA as the method for identifying the best ‘recipes’ – defined as the most relevant constellations of conditions for explaining cosmopolitan coverage. These causal recipes combine conditions at the level of the media outlet and conditions related to the country where the respective outlet is situated.

Brüggemann, Michael; Kleinen-v. Königslöw, Katharina (2013): Explaining cosmopolitan coverage. In European Journal of Communication 28 (4), pp. 361–387. Available online at