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Sinology in Würzburg

Interdisciplinary Workshop: The Fourth Power in state politics

Interdisciplinary Workshop: The Fourth Power in state politics – the self-image of the media in Germany, Russia and China

Date: Saturday, 4th of December 2010, 09:00 – 17:00, Lecture Hall 5 in the Philosophy Building
Organisers: Stephanie Schwarz, Prof. Dr. Helga Stahl, Lianming Wang, Dr. Michael Leibold (moderator)


In modern society, the media is significantly involved in the construction of socially relevant events and therefore plays an important role in the communication and interaction between societies of different cultures. For example, if a German journalist reports on a natural disaster that occurs in the border region between Russia and China, the question arises to what extent the portrayal in the German media corresponds with the view of the Russian and Chinese media. The question is closely related to the function of the media, as well as its influence on intercultural communication on a societal level.

The interdisciplinary workshop ‘The Fourth Power in state politics – the self-image of the media in Germany, Russia and China’ is organized by the Chair of Far East Philology (Sinology) and the Institute of Modern Philology (Slavic Studies). The aim of the event is to enable students to recognize the differences in how the media sees its role in different cultural circles. The workshop will focus on observing, comparing and analyzing media staging of current events in Germany, Russia and China.

The workshop is divided thematically into two sections: In the morning, a number of experts with many years of experience in the media are invited to share their views. This will be followed by a panel discussion in which students are expected to actively participate. In the afternoon, two parallel working groups will be set up. These will be devoted to a more intensive examination of the role of the media in Russia and China.

Focal points

  • Forms and functions of the media in different cultures
  • Process of reporting in Germany, China and Russia
  • Process of informing local populations
  • Dealing with politicians and state power
  • Satisfaction with the media among cultural representatives
  • Images of self and others in the media
  • Self-perception of the media

These points will be explained in guest lectures and analysed in more detail by the students in working groups.

The event is opent to students of all faculties. Russian and Chinese language skills are not required, but desirable. Full-day participation in the workshop will count as attendance of three guest lectures for the GSiK certificate.

Download: Workshop poster