What to study when studying media and communication innovation? Research design for the digital age


  • Josef Trappel University of Salzburg




Media Innovations, Theory


Since the final two decades of the 20th century technology mediated communication transforms from analogue into digital with serious implications on human communication. This process is usually called (digital) innovation. This article revisits the scholarly understanding of innovation in the field of media and communication from a normative point of view and subsequently develops an innovation research agenda which builds on this concept. This research agenda is built on the requirements of a democratic public sphere and consists of five levels: structural conditions, content production, communication and media economics, distribution and delivery as well as usage and user experience. Communication Innovation Studies (CIS) should undertake interdisciplinary research on communication innovation to evaluate and measure improvements or deteriorations of democratic values such as freedom, equality, diversity, solidarity and participation.

Author Biography

Josef Trappel, University of Salzburg

Department of Communication Studies


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