Unser Institut

About the IfM (en)

Since its opening in 2006, the Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationspolitik gGmbH (Institute for Media and Communications Policy) has become an important think tank and platform for the media industry, communications research and policymakers: With events, studies and initiatives that are both high-profile and politically relevant, the IfM brings important media and communications policy issues to the attention of politicians and the public. The technological and media-economic developments of the last two decades, but also the erosions in the classic „broadcasting regulation“ increase the importance of the IfM as a reflection space and advisory institution – both on the empirical-analytical and on the strategic level.

Located in Cologne and Berlin, the institute is headed by Dr. Leonard Novy. In addition to the employees of the institute, an international network of renowned experts (permanent fellows) is involved in the operational project work. The activities of the IfM are supported by a scientific advisory board and senate headed by Claudia Baumhöver and Hans-Jürgen Jakobs.

Focus and activities

Thematically, the spectrum of studies, colloquia, conferences and publications ranges from classical media policy, to the significance of new media constellations for journalism and politics, to media-centered technology impact research. To this end, the IfM has presented a large number of groundbreaking research projects, such as early ones on Twitter as a political medium or on the development of capital city journalism, as well as substantial book publications („Grundlagen der Medienpolitik“, „Wer beherrscht die Medien?“, „Transparency and Funding of Public Service Media“).

The central pillars of the institute’s activities include various event formats, in particular the Media Policy Colloquia, the Cologne Futures conference series organized with WDR (held in Strasbourg in 2021 at the invitation of ARTE) and the international media summit M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, which the IfM curates as a cooperation partner. In 2022, the IfM hosted the Roman Brodmann Prize for Political Documentary Film for the first time together with the Haus des Dokumentarfilms. Guests at our events have been international politicians and the thought leaders of the media and technology revolution such as Mathias Döpfner, Giovanni di Lorenzo, Günther Oettinger, Viviane Reding, Ernst Uhrlau, Olaf Scholz, Gerhard Zeiler, Susan Blackmore, George Soros, Alan Rusbridger, Greg Dyke, Mark Thompson, Susan Crawford, Evgeni Morozow or Tim Wu.

Innovative research tools

The Institute’s media database, mediadb, which is also available online in an English-language version for all citizens, is one of the most highly regarded research tools on media economic structures and developments. It was set up in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Augstein Foundation and provides information on the position of the German media and communications industry in an international context, concentration movements, new technological trends and regulatory models at home and abroad.

Finally, the Institute is involved in international democracy promotion, for example with the „Local Journalism Innovation Initiative“ funded by the German Foreign Office, which despite the conflict-ridden situation was still able to bring together young journalists from Russia and Ukraine for several workshops in 2019.

The Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationspolitik was and is supported by the following institutions:

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