April 25, 2017
School of Journalism and Mass Communications, St. Petersburg State University
The fifth International Conference “Comparative media studies in today's world” took place as part of the Annual Forum “Media in the Modern World”, one of the largest events in journalism and mass communications in Russia. Annually, the Forum gathers over 200 researchers and experts from all over the world. The Centre for German and European Studies has been supporting the conference for several years, and hence contributed to the growth of its international recognition.
In 2017, the conference focused on media transformations in between politics and technology. This topic generated significant scholarly attention in the aftermath of the US presidential election and the Brexit vote. The organizers received submissions from 14 countries, from Germany and France to Israel and Hungary, and there were twice as many foreign participants as Russian ones.
Accordingly, the keynote speeches were dealing with types of populism (by Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University), path dependency in media transformations (by Elena Vartanova, Lomonosov Moscow State University), and the role of social media in developing democracy in CEE countries (by Vaclav Stetka, Loughborough University). Professors as distinguished as Kaarle Nordenstreng (University of Tampere) and Huang Yu (Hong Kong Baptist University) participated in the plenary podium discussion on media changes that (dis)empower people. During the meeting, Katrin Voltmer, the conference’s steering committee member, received the Neva Award for her contribution to media science.
Furthermore, a round table with the conference participants was organized as part of German Week in St. Petersburg to discuss the newest developments in German and Russian quality journalism. During this round table, deputy director of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Jens Hildebrandt reflected on the strengthening ties between media and politics, and Russian and German high-profile journalists shared their opinions on digital innovations in newsrooms.