Immersive Journalism

In March 2020, Sophie Lecheler and Loes Aaldering will begin working on a new project called „Immersive Journalism - The Future of News?“, funded by the ÖNB Jubiläumsfonds. In this project, they will study the visibility and effects of immersive news production. This will include a number of studies, such as an experimental study on possible emotional backfire effects of immersive news production. The project team also includes a new PhD student, Hannah Greber, who joins the Political Communication Group as the project commences.

Emotions in Journalism and News

In a number of studies, we examine the role emotions play in the political communication process. For example, which effects will emotional appeals in journalistic news have on political behavior, or how important are positive emotions during political campaigns? We also determine how to best measure trait and state emotions in mediated communication research. 

Sophie Lecheler, Loes Aaldering

collaboration with Michael Bruder (London School of Economics), Sarah Harrison (London School of Economics).

Digitalization in Journalism

Digitalization has changed how journalists produce news. By means of qualitative and quantitative research techniques with both journalists and citizens, we observe how exactly journalists today use online tools, for example to verify information and find reliable sources. We also study innovation in journalism, such as immersive journalism, Virtual Reality reporting, and augmented reality in journalism.

Sophie Lecheler

collaboration with Sanne Kruikemeier (ASCoR, University of Amsterdam), Yael de Haan (Utrecht University of Applied Sciences)

Fake News and Media Credibility

Everyone is talking about „Fake News“ - but, how useful is the concept in our research field? We suggest that fake news’ alludes to two dimensions of political communication: the fake news genre (i.e. the deliberate creation of pseudojournalistic disinformation) and the fake news label (i.e. the instrumentalization of the term to delegitimize news media). The project observes the theoretical implications of „Fake News“ for our field, the occurrence of the term in public debate, as well as its effects on citizens. 

Jana Egelhofer, Sophie Lecheler, Loes Aaldering

collaboration with Jakob-Moritz Eberl (University of Vienna) and Sebastian Galyga (University of Vienna)

Identity Motivated Reasoning

In times of populism and polarization, citizens’ identification with groups like their gender, rage, or age is increasingly important for understanding politics. So far, political communication research has predominantly focused on the impact of partisanship on opinion formation. This project takes this field one step further, widening our knowledge on the impact of group membership on political opinions and attitudes. 

Ming Boyer, Sophie Lecheler, Loes Aaldering

Political Leadership and the Media

The media focus strongly on party leaders in their political reporting. In various studies, we examine which leadership traits are used by the media to discuss political leaders and what the electoral effects are of this coverage. Additionally, we study the relationship between partisan stereotypes and mediated leadership effects.

Loes Aaldering, Sophie Lecheler

Gender, Politics and Communication

Media report on men and women politicians in different ways, highlighting different background aspects, issues and character traits. In a number of studies, we examine these gender differences in political media coverage, the stereotypes voters and journalists hold for male and female politicians, and the electoral effects of gender bias in media coverage.

Loes Aaldering

collaboration with Daphne van der Pas (University of Amsterdam)