On these pages you can find an overview of things I do professionally that are media-related. Things that may be of interest.
To start with: info about my work as a moderator is hosted on a different blog, which is linked here.
On these sites you can find out more about what I get up to work- and interest-wise, presentations I gave, and a section on publications to date.
Other stuff I do, e.g. journalistic work and assignments, can be found in all sorts of places and formats, such as in print, audiovisual stuff and on websites to which I contribute (including the projects I am and have been involved in such as REVEAL, InVID, WeVerify, vera.ai and EDMO).
Things I find worth sharing and writing about, for whatever reason, I occasionally publish in the Home section of this blog – time permitting. And as time is scarce, don’t expect too much there …
Now let’s move to “the big picture”…
My main job since 2003 has been working at and for Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster
My tasks and roles there have mostly focussed on strategy development and subsequent implementation of digital media services, and co-ordination of – and participation in – research and innovation projects. The latter is something in which I am still involved presently. We are always trying to look into the future, trial and test things out, fail often and start again. Above all, it’s a permanent learning exercise. And it gets me to meet fascinating people, travel around and be surprised again and again. All reasons why, after all these years, I still enjoy the work (well, let’s be honest here: most of it!) tremendously.
If you want to find out more and are seeking information about what we do in the Innovation Projects Unit at DW, please go and visit the pages on which we portray our projects, approaches and activities.
At DW, one of my prime activities topically (since 2013) has centred around the domains verification of user-generated content / eyewitness media, and the countering of disinformation. I talk a lot about it at events and conferences, write about it (e.g. in papers, books and on other sites) and provide trainings and advice to journalists, media organisations and others interested in the topic (e.g. schools and those aiming to foster media literacy).
In addition to my work at Deutsche Welle, I work and am active in the following domains – obviously time permitting.
I lecture primarily at the Free University Berlin, Dept. of Media & Communication Sciences. You can find me on the institute’s homepage. There’s also an overview of seminars I conducted over the past years, such as
- BBC Broadcasting and Broadcasting in Britain
- Onlinestrategien und -konzepte
- International Media Systems – A Comparison
- International Broadcasting
- Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital Age
- International Media
- Social Media Economics and Strategies
- Social Media: Biz and Buzz
- Innovations in News. Strategies, developments and economic implications
- Social Media Content and News: interplay and (inter)dependencies
- The Truth about Disinformation
- Disinformation and Verification: Various Perspectives
A while back, I also lectured at the University of Greifswald (Germany) and the Hochschule St. Gallen (Switzerland).
All in all, I enjoy lecturing and working with students a great deal. But it has to have its limits. So I try not to get involved more than with one course per year. And considering the pay (at least in Germany) I treat all this as a kind of hobby…;). A worthwhile and mostly enjoyable one, I have to say!
Another thing I do, when time permits and I am called upon, is work as a
Trainer for Deutsche Welle Akademie
For Deutsche Welle Akademie I conduct workshops in so-called “transformational countries” every now and then. Some of the courses I gave:
- Training / introductory course “Verification and fact-checking” for journalists in Cambodia associated to CamboJa News (Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association) in August 2021 and again in February 2022. (In May 2019 I also did a short one-day intensive training). The course and trainings consisted of an introduction to the topic, practical exercises, an overview of tools, tactics and strategies and much more.
- Supporting journalists and media organisations in Mongolia in the run-up to the 2020 elections by providing verification trainings and introducing a platform for collaborative verification, Truly Media, developed and provided by Deutsche Welle and Athens Technology Centre. The project took me to Mongolia twice in 2018 and 2019 and was a very interesting and highly rewarding experience.
- Training for management staff of Voice of Vietnam. Topics: 1) Social Media and News; 2) Innovations in News; 3) Organisational Change (Management). Berlin, December 2015
- Training for journalists and channel managers at Prasar Barati, India’s public service broadcaster. Topic: Social Media in Media Organisations. Use and strategies of dealing with social media. Delhi, India, September 2013.
- Management training of citizen journalism network Rassd News Network, Egypt. Topic: Strategic Planning for RNN. Strategy development and implementation, organisatioal management, change management, editorial approaches. Cairo, Egypt, November 2012
- Management training at Voice of Vietnam (VOV). Topic: Development and implementation of a digital strategy for VOV. Various periods between September 2010 – October 2011 on location in Hanoi, Vietnam. I loved it! 🙂
Member and Trainer of Lie Detectors – fostering critical thinking
In June 2018 I started my involvement with Lie Detectors. Lie Detectors, founded by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, is an NGO based in Brussels that aims to foster media literacy among young people, aged 10-15. This is achieved by visiting school classrooms, talking about news media production and distribution, journalism in general (including its challenges) and, at its core, teaching children how to deal with (social) media content responsibly and critically. Hence the mission: “… to turn schoolchildren in Europe aged 10-15 into powerful lie detectors and critical thinkers in a world increasingly populated by propaganda and distorted facts online, empowering them to understand news media, make informed choices and resist peer pressure as they assemble their worldview..”
I had my first classroom visit in late June 2018 and must say it was very interesting and hugely rewarding! I am looking forward to more visits in the future, also supporting the Lie Detectors team in whichever way suitable and possible for me, as I consider this all as a highly worthwhile endevour.
This article I published in early 2021 looks back on my time with Lie Detectors (until the end of 2020).
Here is a video about what we do and how we do it, and why it matters, recorded at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, in April 2019
I also spoke at re:publica 2019 in Berlin. Together with Lie Detectors founder and CEO I talked about the Lie Detectors concept and approach, plus experiences made. (Language used in video is German.)
To date (mid 2023) I have visited about 60 classrooms in total. And am looking forward to meeting more pupils and teachers in the years ahead.
Involvement in the Advisory Boards of EDMO, CEDMO and GADMO
EDMO is a cornerstone of the European Commission in the fight against disinformation. Its aims also include fostering media literacy among European citizens, and bringing together relevant fields of research as well as stakeholders of the domain and related fields.
To achieve the above goals, the EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory) initiative was set up in 2020. It is coordinated by the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
I have been appointed to serve on EDMO’s Advisory Board and have been filling out this role since June 2020.
To further strengthen European factchecking activities, in 2021 a number of national / regional so-called EDMO Hubs were established, initially also co-funded by the European Commission. One of these is CEDMO (the Central European Digital Media Observatory), that focusses its activities on the countries Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
In September 2021 I was appointed to the role of Chairman of the Advisory Board of CEDMO.
Another such hub is GADMO, the German Austrian Digital Media Observatory. It started operating in November 2022.
I have the honour and pleasure to serve on the GADMO Advisory Board, too, and took up the position in March 2023 when the committee was set up.
Memberships / involvements of relevance (also for the sake of transparency)
- Member of the special task force on disinformation about the war in Ukraine, initiated by EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory). Started on 7 March 2022.
- Evaluator for the European Commission’s European Researchers’ Night HORIZON-MSCA-2022-CITIZENS-01-01 in Oct/Nov 2021.
- Chairman of the Advisory Board of the CEDMO (Central European Digital Media Observatory) Hub. Appointed in September 2021.
- Supporter of / involved with the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, European / Germany section.
- Evaluator for the European Commission’s European Researchers’ Night (MSCA-NIGHT-2020bis, a Coordination and Support Action) in early 2021.
- Member of the Advisory Board of EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory). Appointed from June 2020 – February 2023.
- Member of the Advisory Board of SOMA (European Observatory against Disinformation). Appointed for the project’s run-time until 2021.
- Supporter of UNICEF, Reporter ohne Grenzen (Reporters without Borders), and Ärzte ohne Grenzen (Médecins Sans Frontières)
- DW product lead in Truly.Media, a collaborative verification platform developed and provided jointly by Deutsche Welle and ATC
- Deutsche Welle contact / representative in the First Draft News network
- Representing the REVEAL and InVID research projects in the First Draft News network
- Steering Committee and Founding Member of the European Center for Social Media from 2013 – today
- Reviewer for projects of the European Union’s Framework Programmes (2017 ff: project ViMM – Virtual Multimodal Museum)
- Deutsche Welle representative in the New European Media (formerly Networked Electronic Media) Initiative / NEM from 2008 – today
- Deutsche Welle representative on the BMCO Forum (Broadcast Mobile Convergence) from 2005-2010 (the BMCO Forum has been dissolved)
- Deutsche Welle representative at Prix Europa 2003-2010
- Deutsche Welle representative at EBU Pitching Sessions 2003-2005
- Expert / member / advisor for various EU programmes and initiatives, including: Horizon 2020 Work Programme Planning (2016), Future Internet Public-Private-Partnership (EU-ICT, FP 7 – 2010); Mobile Multimedia Steering Committee (EU/DG XIII Information Society, 2001-2002); eContent Programme advisor 2001-2005; Cross-Media & Creativity and Content Consultation Meetings (EU/DG XIII, 2000); ISTAG Advisor (IST Programme Advisory Group, 1998)
From 1998-2003 I had a very exciting time in the New Economy. We started out with two of us plus an assistant. Suddenly, we numbered more than one hundred… We were pioneers in the streaming media business and, for a couple of years, covered the entire German football league live and on-demand, with audio, images and text. We were rich, too (unfortunately only on paper financially). Then we went bankrupt. Ah, yes: the company was called ALTUS Media AG. I held various positions, sometimes too many at the same time (we’re talking New Economy here…), such as Head of Consulting, R&D and Commercial Services; Chief Operating Officer and Editor-in-Chief. What I gained? An immense wealth of know-how and experience (little of these days is still accessible online. One such item is this article in Berliner Zeitung (in German), entitled “Erfolg ohne Aktien”, dated February 2001).
Before that, from 1994-1998 – partly in parallel to my studies – I worked for the BBC, mainly in News & Current Affairs. Some of it was unpaid, too. I didn’t mind – rather the contrary. It was great! I learned such a lot there. Still drawing from it to this very day. Programmes I was fortunate to work for and/or trail included: The World Tonight, Europhile, Analysis (BBC Radio 4), On the Record, Breakfast with Frost, Breakfast News (BBC 1), plus short stints at various News & Current Affairs programmes (e.g. Radio 1’s Newsbeat and BBC 2’s Newsnight) and Documentary Features, Arts & Science Radio.
While studying, I also worked at 1A Berlin TV (which later became TV Berlin) in programme planning, but that’s so long ago that it’s a faded memory….
“Other stuff” (internal only – please ignore)
The pope / der Papst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KFj6b1Xfe8&t=18s
The shark / der Hai
Place 1 / Ort 1
Place 2 / Ort 2
Place 3 / Ort 3
Place and time / Ort und Zeit