In the Media Linguistics professorship, we conduct research on the interplay between language use and public communication conveyed through the media. We investigate how digital technologies affect verbal and visual communication and how language, images, visualisations and design can be used most effectively. This enables us to discover, for example, how social media are changing the way organisations communicate and opinions are shaped in society. We use and convey knowledge and methods for analysing and improving multimodal products and production and reception processes. This knowledge acts as a catalyst for advancing research because we are developing solutions to the communicative challenges brought on by the digital transformation. This knowledge also helps those in professional contexts and society to understand how mediated public communication affects our perception of social worlds and professional practices.
The IAM MediaLab focuses on areas that will impact journalism and organisational communication in the coming years: future technologies, societal trends and new forms of training. The interdisciplinary network of the IAM MediaLab and the close cooperation with practitioners foster the integration of knowledge and expertise from different fields. As a result, the IAM MediaLab offers innovative services and conducts projects that transcend disciplinary boundaries.
The national study “How to reach Swiss digital natives with news” investigated the demands and expectations of young people in Switzerland regarding news as well as their news consumption. The results show that while young people are interested in news, they find little appeal in traditional news formats. In cooperation with the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano and the University of Lausanne, we have developed an audience model that systematises and contextualises the news consumption of young people. This model helps to implement the findings in practical settings. The study was funded by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM).
The project “To be liked or not to be liked – what makes a photo interesting?”, which was funded by ZHAW digital, explores the question of which images are viewed, liked and shared on social media and sharing platforms – and why. The aim is to better understand which aesthetic and semantic qualities make images interesting and attractive. Both visual semiotics and machine learning are used to analyse the data. The project’s findings will help to optimise digital communication strategies for social media channels.
The Swiss Annual Report Rating is carried out annually by HarbourClub. Until 2019, the rating has primarily taken account of the publications’ design and the manner in which they report financial figures and other values. Thanks to the text jury, which has been part of the Swiss Annual Report Rating since 2020, the annual reports are now also subjected to a holistic evaluation. The criteria catalogue for the text category was developed within the Professorship of Media Linguistics. The text jury comprises the Media Linguistics team, supported by students at the IAM Institute of Applied Media Studies specialising in organisational communication.
How to Reach Swiss Digital Natives with News. A Qualitative Study
Information services for young people today have to meet different requirements than those offered by traditional media. Innovations in this area require both structural changes and new ways of thinking in editorial offices as well as new media formats that anticipate technological and social developments and the ...
Smart Mobility Experience
In this project, a virtual reality environment will be created to bring concepts around smart mobility closer to a broad audience. These concepts include smart sharing offers (and thus a change of mentality from owning to using), automated driving (which could reduce the number of vehicles in cities to one tenth ...
Doing good with Virtual Reality?
Information dissemination, access, and comprehension are key components for citizen involvement in democratic processes. The broad dissemination and respective ease of comprehension of voting relevant information in election/voting booklet provided by, for example, the Federal Chancellery is a key prerequisite for ...
The findings from our projects are integrated directly into the modules in the BA in Communication, the MA in Applied Linguistics – in particular the Specialisation in Organisational Communication – and in the MAS Master of Advanced Studies in Management and Leadership. Students regularly participate in our research projects.