Our Profile

The Departement of Communication and Media Research DCM at University of Fribourg aims at teaching and research in the field of mass communication in Switzerland and internationally.

With our Bachelor and Master programmes, we offer an attractive academic education for students who want to start a career in the field of communication and media. The programmes aim at describing and explaining media and communication in modern societies. Furthermore, they allow insights into the media business.


  • Our Subject Area

    Communication and Media Research is a subject in the field of social sciences at whose core lays the conveyance of structural knowledge and awareness of problems regarding the public social communication. Central topics are the general framework, systems, processes, contents and effects of mass communication. Research in the field of media sheds light among other things on the media system and media-consumption habits. The findings are availed by decision makers of media policy, the public relations sector, the advertising industry and media representatives. 

    Communication and Media Research are comprised of numerous subareas: Media Law, History of Media and Communication, Study of the Communicator, Study of the Recipient, Study of Audience and Media Effects, Political Communication, Media Economics, Organisational Communication and PR, Media Ecology, Media Technology, Semiotics, Media Ethics, Media Pedagogy. Furthermore the following subjects are part of the course of studies: Introduction to Socio-Scientific Fundamentals, Empirical Research Methods and similar socio-scientific disciplines (Sociology, Political Science and Social Psychology).

  • Focus of Teaching and Research Area

    The Department of Communication and Media Research comprises of eight teaching and research areas that are each supervised by a professor. The following core topics are represented:


    • Professorship in Communication, Business & Social Responsibility (Prof. Dr. Laura Illia): Communication and Business, Stakeholder management, Social Responsibility, Issues and Crisis management, Organizational legitimacy, Stigma, Reputation, Identity, Social impact, Social media, Text-mining, Time Series, Thematic analysis.


    • Professorship in Media Use and Effects (Prof. Dr. Andreas Fahr): Study of audience and media effects, media psychology.


    • Professorship in Political Communication (Prof. Dr. Regula Hänggli): Research in political communication, production of news content, public debates, opinion formation, direct democracy, and digitalization as  challenge for established democracy and society.


    • Professorship in Media Structures and Governance (Prof. Dr. Manuel Puppis): International comparison of media systems, media in Switzerland, media organizations, media policy and media regulation.


    • Professorship in Organizational Communication and Public Diplomacy (Prof. Dr. Diana Ingenhoff): A special focus lays on the areas of reputation and issues management, corporate citizenship, CSR and international corporate communications.


    • Professorship in Communication History and Social Communication (Prof. Dr. Philomen Schönhagen): Theory of mass communication and journalism, history and evolution of social communication and their media, history of journalism, quality in journalism, qualitative methods in communication studies.


    • Professorship in Communication and Media Research (Prof. Dr. Thilo von Pape): Communication in digital contexts: use and impact, social construction and appropriation of media innovations, mobile media and communication, privacy, sustainability and accessibility of digital communication.


    • Professorship in Political Communication and Media (Prof. Dr. Alexandra Feddersen): Interactions and influences between politics, the media, and public opinion.


  • Institute of Digital Communication and Media Innovation (IDCMI)

    The Institute of Digital Communication and Media Innovation (IDCMI) is associated with the DCM. It is an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional institute run by the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Fribourg together with the University of Applied Sciences Grisons. At its locations in Chur and Fribourg, the institute explores the challenges of digital communication and coordinates the Master's programme "Digital Communication and Creative Media Production" offered jointly by the two universities. This programme combines technical-practical competences in the field of media engineering with the academic foundation of social and communication science theory and research.


  • Our Mission Statement

    The DCM...

    • accounts for theory-led, systematic-empirical and scientific research of the various phenomena, processes and structures of media-mediated public communication.
    • focuses its research on the following core areas of public and media-mediated communication: media systems, media policy, media organizations and digital media, journalism and political communication, organizational communication as well as media use and media effects.
    • iis convinced of the particular importance of solid knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods throughout the research process. The application and teaching of those methods ensures research and education at a high academic level.
    • practices research-based teaching and learning. This systematic linking of research and teaching is of major strategic importance for the DCM.
    • offers an academic-scientific education that deals with the research of media and communication in society. It is convinced that an active and intensive contact with media practice is particularly useful for academic research as well as for the education of students. Therefore, courses of nationally and internationally renowned experts from media practice are accompanying the teaching at the DCM. Applied research projects, guest lectures and other forms of cooperation successfully combine theory and practice.

    The students at the DCM...

    • gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes, structures, roles, effects and power in and of social communication in their full-time studies. They acquire analytical and practical knowledge about communication processes, actors, media content, publics as well as the individual, organizational and social consequences of interactions between humans and media. They gain profound knowledge about the importance of media for and their influence on society.
    • learn the discipline-specific relevant knowledge and skills to participate actively and independently in research processes, plan and carry out research projects and present their results.
    • may study in two or three languages (German, French, English).
  • Our History

    In 2016, the Department of Communication and Media Research celebrated 50 years of teaching and research in the fields of media, communication and journalism at University of Fribourg. We organized an official jubilee on 7th April 2016 with speeches, discussion panels and an exhibition about the Department's history. You can find an insight into the historical development of our department as well as pictures and information about the jubilee here.