Mission Statement

Communication and media research in society: Competencies and perspectives

DGPuK has formed a committee to compile the cornerstones of the discipline’s scientific and professional mission. This description aims to be inclusive to all scientific sub-disciplines and reflect the diversity of DGPuK members, offering a mere framework in which individual sub-disciplines can develop and thrive.

The mission statement was officially approved and instated at the association’s annual conference May 1st, 2008 in Lugano, Switzerland.

Compiled by the following members of DGPuK: Klaus Beck, Günter Bentele, Bernd Blöbaum, Beatrice Dernbach, Uwe Hasebrink, Andreas Hepp, Knut Hickethier, Otfried Jarren, Christoph Klimmt, Friedrich Krotz, Marion G. Müller, Ingrid Paus-Hasebrink, Barbara Pfetsch, Jo Reichertz, Jutta Röser, Gabriele Siegert, Barbara Thomaß, Gerhard Vowe, Werner Wirth, Oliver Zöllner


1. History of the scientific traditions in the field of communication and media research

At least three major scientific traditions in relation to communication and media are established among the German-speaking communication and media research community: One is oriented towards the social sciences, another one towards the humanities, and a third is concerned with the aesthetics, the technical, and the creative process. The German Communication Association promotes both social scientific and humanistic perspectives and considers their theorizing, methodology, and findings to be complementary. To honor these interrelations, we call the scientific field and community represented by DGPuK "Communication and Media Research."

2. Scientific and social context of communication and media research

The methods applied in the field of communication and media research range from empirical social science methods to historic-hermeneutic methods. These methodologies include standardized and unstandardized procedures, such as survey methods, content analysis, experimental designs, observation, and ethnographic methods. In addition, methods from neighboring disciplines enrich the methodological range: discourse analysis, media linguistics, political, and economic analysis.


3. Internal Structure of the Association

Cooperation with neighboring disciplines are in part reflected in sub-disciplines of communication and media research. Research and teaching can be organized along three dimensions:
  • The elements of the communication process (e.g., communicator, medium, message, use, processing, and effects);
  • The type of communication, that vary in their degree of publicity (e.g., interpersonal communication, organizational communication, mass communication);
  • The level of analysis (e.g., micro level, meso level, and macro level).

The many combinations of these dimensions make up a large variation of research areas and disciplines.  Their historic growth is reflected in the divisions and interest groups (ad-hoc groups) of the German Communication Association.

  • Digital Communication
  • Health Communication
  • International and Intercultural Communication
  • Journalism Studies
  • Communication and Politics
  • Communication and Media Ethics
  • Communication History
  • Media, Public Spheres and Gender
  • Media Economics
  • Media Education
  • Media Language – Media Discourse
  • Methods
  • Public Relations and Organisational Communications
  • Media Reception and Effects
  • Sociology of Media and Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Advertising Communication
  • Science Communication
  • Media Sport and Sport Communication

4. Guiding Principles of the Discipline

The research in our discipline aims to advance the public’s literacy and understanding of communication processes and media, solve applied problems in communication and media environments, and advance education and training in a dynamically growing industry.

5. Internationalization of DGPuK

The orientation toward a global context in communication and media research and teaching is growing. The United States of America have been central in this process in the past. The European integration of communication and media research efforts is currently seen as an increasingly important goal than has hitherto been the case.