Complete Publication list

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Schumann, Christina;
When news topics annoy - exploring issue fatigue and subsequent information avoidance and extended coping strategies. - In: Journalism and media, ISSN 2673-5172, Bd. 3 (2022), 3, S. 538-556

This paper scrutinizes the phenomenon of issue fatigue and its consequences. Issue fatigue results from overexposure to a news topic that has been on the media’s agenda for an extended period of time. Fatigued recipients become annoyed, and no longer wish to be exposed to the topic. Based on the findings of an explorative qualitative study, a quantitative online survey was conducted in Germany, Mexico, and Pakistan (N = 481). Using cluster analysis, we identified an emotional and a cognitive type of issue fatigue, and investigated how these types react. Both types of fatigued recipients avoided further news about the respective issue in traditional news media (= information avoidance). Differences were observed concerning the strategies to handle fatigue (= coping strategies): recipients of the emotional type posted about their fatigue in social media; recipients of the cognitive type turned to information in sources other than the mainstream news. Taking into account country-specific differences, we concluded that, generally, issue fatigue - via information avoidance - results in an uninformed citizenry. This can be a hurdle for the functioning of an established democracy or for the success of democratic transitions. Posting about issue fatigue, which was more frequent in Mexico and Pakistan, might ‘infect’ others, and intensify problems resulting from issue fatigue. Turning to alternative sources can be either beneficial or problematic for the development of a well-informed citizenry, depending on whether alternative sources provide reliable and truthful information
Gurr, Gwendolin; Schumann, Christina; Metag, Julia
Negative effects of long-lasting media attention to public issues on recipients: conceptualizing issue fatigue. - In: Studies in communication sciences, ISSN 1424-4896, Bd. 22 (2022), 2, S. 385-401

A significant amount of political communication research is grounded in the dynamics of the media’s and the public’s attention to public issues, assuming that the news media draw the public’s attention to issues, thereby fostering an informed and participating citizenry. However, there is evidence from several countries that this mechanism is disrupted for issues with high shares of news coverage during a period. Against this background, this article scrutinizes the idea that recipients become fatigued from these issues in the news. Having transferred findings on overexposure from other media stimuli to the news environment, issue fatigue is defined as a negative cognitive and affective state consisting of decreasing issue-specific information processing involvement, perceived information overload, and increasing boredom, annoyance, and anger toward an issue. Issue fatigue can lead to the avoidance of information about the issue, thus serving as a new explanatory approach to avoidance of media information at an issue level. Further consequences, causes, and the development of issue fatigue are discussed.
Ozola-Schade, Maija;
Intergroup relations and media: the effects of media system quality in explaining immigration attitudes. - In: Studies in communication sciences, ISSN 1424-4896, Bd. 22 (2022), 2, S. 363-384

From an intergroup relations perspective, attitudes toward immigration derive from assessments of immigrants’ ethnic proximity to the host society. However, attitudes are embedded not only in the notion of intergroup relations, they are influenced by the information environment in which public discourse about immigration is shaped. This paper investigates whether the quality of the media system contributes to the emergence of a well-informed public that is more likely to reinforce democratic values and thus have more positive attitudes toward immigration. The European Social Survey data (2002-2018) from 19 European countries are combined with media quality indicators from the Varieties of Democracy project and studied in a cross-national comparative perspective. Results confirm that Europeans prefer immigrants that are ethnically more similar to the majority of the host society, regardless of time or given country. Furthermore, attitudes are more positive in countries with stronger public services. Moreover, a higher quality media system that reflects the level of media freedom, opinion plurality, self-governance, and objectivity, fosters pro-immigration attitudes, especially for immigrants who are ethnically different from the host society.
De Silva-Schmidt, Fenja; Brüggemann, Michael; Hoppe, Imke; Arlt, Dorothee
Learning about climate politics during COP 21: explaining a diminishing knowledge gap. - In: Public understanding of science, ISSN 1361-6609, Bd. 31 (2022), 5, S. 617-633

A basic understanding of climate politics is necessary for citizens to assess their government's policies. Media use is supposed to enable learning, while widening knowledge gaps. We analyze whether such a gap opened up in times of intense media coverage during the 2015 climate conference in Paris and explain learning through hierarchical regression analyses, drawing on a 3-month panel survey (n = 1121) in Germany. We find a diminishing knowledge gap: people with low previous knowledge catch up on the better informed, but overall knowledge remained low and learning was limited. This suggests a ceiling effect: possibly journalistic media did not provide enough new information for the well-informed. Closing knowledge gaps may also be explained by the media system with public television and regional newspapers reaching broad segments of the population. Higher knowledge was predicted less by media use than by education, concern, and being male.
Arlt, Dorothee; Schaller, Sophia; Wolling, Jens; Kirchmayer, Diana
Die Energiewende aus Sicht der Bevölkerung : Ergebnisse einer bundesweiten Befragung im Vorfeld der Bundestagswahl 2021. - Ilmenau : Technische Universität Ilmenau, Fachgebiet Empirische Medienforschung und Politische Kommunikation. - 1 Online-Ressource (48 Seiten)
Rochyadi-Reetz, Mira; Teng'o, Dan
Prioritizing development, vying for attention : factors influencing the practice of environmental journalism in the global South. - In: The handbook of international trends in environmental communication, (2022), S. 220-231

Research on environmental journalism in the global South is on the increase, but it is still in its infancy. Existing literature has noted the low coverage of environmental issues in the media worldwide, including in the global South. This essay identifies factors that influence this low coverage and the practice of environmental journalism in the global South based on existing literature. It presents three factors using the media sociology approach. Key among the factors is the development ideology, which has created the perception that journalists should complement government efforts in fostering national development in the ex-colonial nations of the global South. It has macro-level influence on the practice of journalism as reflected in the prioritization of government sources in news production. Its influence is also apparent in journalism education in the global South. At the micro level, the ideology influences role perceptions of journalists in the region.

Geise, Stephanie; Klinger, Ulrike; Magin, Melanie; Müller, Kathrin Friederike; Nitsch, Cordula; Riesmeyer, Claudia; Rothenberger, Liane; Schumann, Christina; Sehl, Annika; Wallner, Cornelia; Zillich, Arne Freya
The normativity of communication research: a content analysis of normative claims in peer-reviewed journal articles (1970-2014). - In: Mass communication & society, ISSN 1532-7825, Bd. 25 (2022), 4, S. 528-553

In times of rapid media change, society is increasingly asking for expertise from communication research. Well-founded assessments of current developments require knowledge of the normative foundations of the discipline, but empirical analyses of the normativity of communication research are scarce. We developed an innovative, multistep approach to make the discipline’s normative perspectives visible. We identified, systemized, and quantified normative claims consisting of three elements: content (what is evaluated/should happen?), subject (who is responsible?), and object (who benefits?). This approach provides the basis for a long-term content analysis of articles from international peer-reviewed journals in communication research (1970-2014). The results show that communication research is normative, but research fields differ in their degree of normativity, likely resulting from the discipline's interdisciplinary roots. The normative focal points vary over time, reflecting changes in the discipline and in the media during the period examined. Based on these results, we call for informed handling of the normativity shaping communication research.
Schaller, Sophia;
Massenmediale STI-Präventionskommunikation der BZgA zwischen 2008 und 2018. - In: Social science open access repository, (2021), S. 1-17
Publikation entstand im Rahmen von: Gesundheitskommunikation und Geschichte: interdisziplinäre Perspektiven / D. Reifegerste & C. Sammer (Hrsg.). - Stuttgart : Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft e.V., 2021

Während die HIV-Neuinfektionsrate mittlerweile auf einem niedrigen und stabilen Niveau ist, sind die Erkrankungszahlen verschiedener sexuell übertragbarer Infektionen (STI, z. B. Syphilis) in den letzten Jahren stark angestiegen. So ist neben der Prävention einer Infektion mit HIV heute auch die Prävention von anderen STI durch die mediale Aufklärung über Ansteckungswege, Schutzmaßnahmen und Symptome von großer Bedeutung für die öffentliche Gesundheit. Dementsprechend hat die Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA), die im Auftrag des Ministeriums für Gesundheit kommunikationsstrategische Aufgaben für die STI-Prävention übernimmt, ihre ursprüngliche Kampagne GIB AIDS KEINE CHANCE schrittweise zur STI-Kampagne LIEBESLEBEN entwickelt. Zur Veranschaulichung dieses Wandels zeichnet der vorliegende Beitrag die Kampagnenkommunikation der BZgA seit 2008 nach.
Schmidt, Franzisca; Eugster, Beatrice; Arlt, Dorothee
Varieties of populist attitudes and their link to islamophobia in Switzerland. - In: International journal of public opinion research, ISSN 1471-6909, Bd. 33 (2021), 4, S. 873-890

The aim of this article is to show whether distinct varieties of populist attitudes emerge within a society, and how they relate to citizens’ Islamophobic attitudes. The study is based on a representative survey conducted in Switzerland in 2019. We used latent class analysis and multinomial regression analyses to identify latent subgroups, yielding five classes of populist attitudes: direct democracy devotees, individuals with populist tendencies, moderate populists, radical anti-elite populists, and radical-universal populists. Compared with the direct democracy devotees class, members of the moderate and the radical-universal populists classes are significantly more likely to hold anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attitudes and to be politically right-wing, while radical anti-elite populists are not associated with either anti-Muslim attitudes or a right-wing ideology.
Arlt, Dorothee;
Banning burkas and niqabs? : exploring perceptions of bias in media coverage of Islam and Muslims in Switzerland and their relation to people's voting intention concerning the burka-initiative. - In: Studies in communication sciences, ISSN 1424-4896, Bd. 21 (2021), 1, S. 9-25

In Switzerland, Islam and Muslims are repeatedly the subject of political debates and, thus, of media reporting. While content analyses show a certain bias in Western media coverage of Islam and Muslims, relatively little is known about the audience's perspective on media bias in this context. Using data from an online survey of the Swiss population (n = 976), this study examines people’s perceptions of bias in the media coverage of Islam and Muslims in Switzerland and how it relates to their intention to vote on the popular initiative "Yes to a veil ban". The study was conducted in March 2019, two years before the actual vote took place on 7 March 2021. The results show that the majority of the Swiss non-Muslim population perceives the reporting as distorted. In the study's investigation of media bias perceptions, attitudes towards Islam and Muslims, political orientation and personal contact with Muslims proved to be the most relevant influencing factors. By contrast, exposure to political information via traditional news media and social media was not associated with bias perceptions. Finally, a stronger perception that the media understate certain problems related to Islam and Muslims in Switzerland was positively related to people's intention to vote for a national ban on wearing burkas or niqabs in public.