Category Archives: Communication research

Corporate Reputation Review accepted article about Wikipedia

Great news! Corporate Reputation Review accepted an article I authored with a colleague! The paper is titled “Wikipedia’s portrayals of large corporations – An analysis of corporate reputation dimensions in the English and German version of Wikipedia”. the article reports the results of a rather complex content analysis of Wikipedia’s (German and English) articles about large corporations. Our approach was based on the Dimensions of Reputation as proposed by Charles J. Fombrun and his colleagues.

Update: Published!

Roessing, Thomas, / Einwiller, Sabine (2016)*: Portrayals of Large Corporations in the English and German Version of Wikipedia – Exploring Similarities and Differences. Corporate Reputation Review, 19(2), S. 108–126. doi:10.1057/crr.2016.3

Article accepted by New Media & Society

The famous journal New Media & Society accepted this article for publication:

Geiß, Stefan / Leidecker, Melanie / Roessing, Thomas (in print): The interplay between news and search media: How news media trigger searches and edits in Wikipedia. To be published in News media and Society.

In this study, we delve into the phenomenon that traditional TV news have an influence on the readership of Wikipedia. When TV news report on an event (in our case a fatal earthquake), the number of visits to related Wikipedia articles (for eample: Richter magnitude scale) rises. The number of edits the Wikiepda articles receive is also affected by the attention created by the TV news.

EWE published article about majorities and public opinion

The deliberative journal EWE: Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik, has published an article of mine (in German):

Roessing, Thomas (2014): Das Mehrheitsprinzip in der modernen Mediengesellschaft. Kommentar zu E. Flaig. Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik 25(3), 473-476.

This article is a response to Egon Flaig’s essay “Die Mehrheitsentscheidung – ihre kulturelle Bedeutung” (in the same volume of the journal). His article deals with the majority principle and democratic structures in history, culture and the sciences . In my comment I argue that certain processes of public opinion formation (such as teh spiral of silence) and the role of the mass media in modern democracies pose a danger for the functioning of the majority principle, since they import power from other spheres into the democratic process.

IAMCR accepted presentation about “Internet memes as a form of public opinion expression”

The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) has accepted my submission about Internet memes and public opinion for presentation at the annual conference in Montreal in July 2015.

Internet memes are a popular phenomenon in present-day Internet communication. Internet memes are images, short video clips (or animated images in the .gif format), often containing catch phrases and additional captions. They are spread via email, web sites, blogs, discussion forums, and social media. If a meme ‘goes viral’, it reaches a large number of people in a short time. Recipients of memes sometimes alter the content or use the meme in new contexts, thereby contributing to the publicity of the underlying idea.

My presentation focuses on the societal function of memes as a form of public opinion expression. Internet memes often refer to popular culture, computer games or jokes. However, there is a considerable number of memes addressing societal conflicts (such as feminism, racism, religious extremism, or the anti-vaccine movement) or general issues of social relevance (such as the role of science for humankind). Other memes directly address issues of a political nature, such as the wars in the Middle East and the Ukraine, terrorist attacks, and political debates in the U.S. and other countries. Moreover, there is a large area of memes indirectly addressing issues of public importance such as international understanding, or human mating rituals.

This paper presents a review of typical memes related to public opinion. Examples for the analyzed memes in this category include a meme making fun of IS terrorists, one on gender-neutral restrooms and one demanding free condoms for everyone in order to prevent diseases. Potential effects on internet users’ perception of the climate of opinion as well as the role of memes for the concept of a worldwide public opinion are addressed.

Journal Article about Wikipedia and breaking news published

My Article about Wikipedia as a gateway for breaking news has been published in Studies in Communication | Media (SCM). There is a three-page extended abstract in English for my international readers. The complete article is written in German and titeled “Enzyklopädie-Amateure als Amateur-Journalisten: Wikipedia als Gateway für aktuelle Ereignisse.”

The gist of the article is that amateurs who try to write an ancyclopedia sometimes have to deal with the duties of professional journalists. When notable events unfold (such as catastrophes, terrorist attacks or elections), Wikipedia’s authors have to cope with several problems like uncertainty of available information or contradicting sources. Many users of Wikipedia object the quick publication of articles about breaking news.

My article analyzes some of the disputes within the community and discusses examples of Wikipedia’s performance in dealing with unfolding events. Basis for the analysis is the gatekeeper theory. Using Wikipedia’s (German) article about the Loveparade disaster of 2010, I develop the concept of second-level gatekeeping.

Updated 2015-02-02

Presentation about freedom research accepted for the AAPOR conference in Hollywood, Florida

A proposal for the annual conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), May 14-17, 2015, has been accepted for presentation.

My co-author Thomas Petersen will present our research at the conference. It deals with results of combined surveys and media content analyses on the value of freedom in Germany. The project is part of the Freiheitsindex Deutschland (Freedom Index Germany), a co-operation of mine with the John-Stuart-Mill-Institute for freedom research at the university of applied sciences in Heidelberg, Germany and the Allensbach Institute.

Update, 2015-05-18: Unfortunately, none of the authors attended the conference (for organizational reasons) and the presentation had to be cancelled.

Paper accepted for the ICA conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The International Communication Association (ICA) has announced that the paper on Political Campaigning in Social Network Sites: Do Campaign Aids appear to be Opinion
Leaders Online?, which I co-autheored with Nicole Podschuweit, Danny Schmidt, Winja Weber, and Simon Kruschinski (all U of Erfurt) has been accepted for presentation at the Annual ICA conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico in May. The presentation is part of the Panel “Same same, but different? Opinion Leadership in the Virtual World”, submitted by Stephanie Geise, also U of Erfurt.

Thanks to all the colleagues who were involved in this successful effort!

Paper accepted for DGPuK 2015 in Darmstadt

A paper I submitted with Nicole Podschuweit of Erfurt University (who is first author) has been accepted for presentation at DGPuK 2015, the annual conference of the German Association for Communication Research.

The paper’s title is “Haustürwahlkampf in Deutschland. Eine empirische Analyse am Beispiel des Wahlkampfes zur Thüringer Landtagswahl 2014”, which roughly translates as “Door-to-door campaigning in Germany. An empirical analysis of the Thuringian state election campaign in 2014”. The paper is based on interviews with campaign officials and a quantitative survey among campaign aids.

Darmstadt is my home town. I went to grammar school not far from the conference site. That makes this upcoming presentation a very special success for me.

Update 2014-12-18: A second paper has been accepted as part of the Panel “Ethische Herausforderungen kommunikationswissenschaftlicher Forschung. Anwendungsfelder, Anwendungsrelevanz und Perspektiven” (“Ethical challenges in communication research. Applications, relevance, and perspectives”) proposed by Katrin Döveling from U of Leipzig. My part is about “Sozialwissenschaftliche Experimente: Ethische Aspekte am Beispiel von Furcht erzeugenden Stimuli” which translates as “Experiments in the social sciences: Ethical aspects of fear-inducing stimuli”.