Different Democracies, Same Media Power? (Day 1)

Day 1: Democracy and mass media in Europe and the USA – exploring power relations and the media’s democratic performance.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


September 05, 2008 from 8:15 am to 5:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

View presentations from this event:
Hans Weder, University of Zurich Gabriele Siegert
Matthias Gerth, University of Zurich
Werner A. Meier
Pietro Rossi, University of Zurich
Robert Picard, Jonkoping University
Patrick Donges, University of Zurich
Jesper Strombaeck, Mid Sweden University


Experts from Switzerland, Europe and the US discuss their research on political communications and media democracy in this 2-day workshop. By presenting theoretical and empirical findings relating to democratic norms and practices with an emphasis on modern election campaigns, a special focus is given to the health of a democracy and the extent to which voters are willing and able to influence their society via the ballot box. This conference is organized jointly by SwissGIS (Swiss Centre for Studies on the Global Information Society) and NCCR Democracy (National Centre of Competence in Research on Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century) to celebrate Zurich University’s 175th anniversary on the US West Coast. Please note this is Day 2 of a 2-day event – mandatory registration is free and it is possible to register for each day separately. For Day 2 click here; for the introductory roundtable “How Do News Media impact Elections?” click here. Download the complete conference program.


9:15 am doors open, registration

9:45 am   welcoming remarks:
– Elmar Ledergerber, Mayor of the City of Zurich
– Weder, Rector of the University of Zurich

10:30 am keynote speakers:
– Shanto Iyengar, Stanford University: Changing Patterns of Political Communication
– Lance Bennett, University of Washington: Media Structures and Democracy

12:00 pm lunch break

1:00 pm panel 1: Media Power and Media-Politics-Relations in Europe and the United States

Mediatization describes a distinctive stage in the long-term development of contemporary mass democracies in which many political processes have grown more or less dependent on the mass media. Broad questions on the role of journalism and news in a globalized world will lead the panel into a discussion focusing on the relationship between media and politics in modern mass democracies. Full program

Panelists: Steve Reese, University of Texas, Austin
Panelists: Daniel Hallin, University of San Diego
Panelists: Jesper Stroembaeck, Mid Sweden University
Panelists: Frank Marcinkowski, NCCR-Democracy
Panelists: Patrick Donges, University of Zurich

3:45 pm panel 2: Monitoring the Democratic Performance of the Media: Research and Records in the United States and Europe

Media are essential for the functioning of contemporary democracies. For over 60 years, media researchers, social scientists, media professionals and journalists struggle to monitor how media performance is linked to democratic quality. The panel looks at contemporary issues for media monitoring, methodological problems and ways of policy implementation. Full program

Panelists: Mark Whitehouse, IREX EuropE
Panelists: Amy Mitchell, Project for Excellence in Journalism, Washington DC
Panelists: JGabriele Siegert, University of Zurich
Panelists: Matthias Gerth, University of Zurich
Panelists: Josef Trappel, University of Zurich
Panelists: Tanja Maniglio, University of Zurich

6:00 pm    program ends


Photo: Myleen Hollero