Germany – Erich Brost Institute for Journalism in Europe, Dortmund (EBI)

Brief description of the legal entity

The Erich Brost Institute for Journalism in Europe has been founded in March 1991 as a scientific and non-profit institute. It was initiated through a charity found by Erich Brost (1993-1995), publisher of the WAZ media group. The main goal of the Erich Brost Institute (EBI) is to promote practise, the knowledge of and the research on journalism in Europe. This is carried out through supporting projects in research activities and journalism training on an international level within a uniting Europe. The EBI closely cooperates with the Institute of Journalism, TU Dortmund University, which offers one of the most renowned curricula for the education of journalists in Germany.

Main tasks/previous experience relevant to those tasks

Led by academic director Susanne Fengler, the EBI is responsible for coordinating and managing the project MediaAcT. The EBI will guarantee the overview of the state-of-the-art reports on MAS and develop the methodological design and instruments. Other main tasks will be the interpretation of comparative data, the editing of a scientific book publication, the development of a MAS index and a template to assess MAS. Taking into account the EBI’s experiences in education, it will take part in the development of a training manual and online tool for future journalists. Another contribution consists of the development and implementation of an online platform for MAS in Europe. Being a coordinator of the consortium of the EU-funded research project “Adequate Information Management in Europe” (AIM), the EBI gained experience in the organisation and the requirements of an international research project. MediaAcT will therefore benefit from this expert knowledge. Additionally, EBI will take responsibility for the research on media accountability systems in Jordan. EBI has a long-standing profile on research on media in the Arab world and has researchers at hand that speak Arabic and are able to conduct the research on Jordan. Also, the EBI is has an intensive network of co-operations in the Arab World and Jordan in particularly and will be able to make use of local expertise on the topic.

Short profile of the staff member

Susanne Fengler, PhD, is the academic director of the EBI and professor for international journalism at the Institute of Journalism, TU Dortmund University. Previously she has worked as a researcher and lecturer at Freie Universität, Berlin, at the universities of Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, and Fribourg (Switzerland), for the Swiss school for journalism MAZ and for the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ). Her professional experiences include journalism and political communication. Media accountability is one of her main research interests. Other topics are comparative journalism studies, political journalism, development communication, and the economic theory of journalism. She has published numerous national and international books and articles and edits the new book series "Kompaktwissen Journalismus". In cooperation with Stephan Russ-Mohl, she has published a book and several national and international articles about the application of economic theory to journalism research.

Tobias Eberwein, PhD, is the scientific officer of the MediaAcT project. He is a visiting professor at the Technische Universität Dortmund where he teaches courses in international journalism, online journalism and media ethics. Eberwein also works as acting academic director of the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism in Dortmund. After studying journalism, English and American literature and culture as well as political sciences, he became editor-in-chief of "Medien Monitor", an online journal for media journalism which is an integral part of the journalism courses at Dortmund University. Moreover, he is editor of "Journalistik", a learned journal for journalism studies, and "r:k:m", an integrative website for book reviews from the realm of communication and media studies. He holds a "Diplom" in journalism from Dortmund University. In his PhD thesis, he analyzed the structural preconditions of literary journalism in Germany.

Julia Lönnendonker, M.A., Dipl-Geogr., is a researcher at the EBI. She assumes the role of coordination officer of the MediaAcT project. She has experiences as a researcher in various projects and as lecturer at the Institute of Journalism, TU Dortmund University, for more than five years. Previously, she has served as scientific officer and liaison officer to the EU in the FP6 EU-funded international research project "Adequate Information Management in Europe(AIM)" Within the AIM framework she was responsible for the coordination, administration and research of the project in which the EBI has served as coordinator. Her research interests are international and European journalism, the ethnic press and identity research. She holds a diploma-degree in Geography (minors: Political and Media Sciences) (2004) from the University of Bonn and a Master of Arts (2002) in "Print and Multimedia Journalism" from Emerson College, Boston, MA, USA.

Janis Brinkmann, M.A., is research fellow at the Erich Brost Institute for international journalism and scientific assistant at the MediaAcT project. He holds a bachelor and a master-degree in Journalism of the University of Dortmund. For his minors he studied political sciences and economic sciences at the Universities of Dortmund and Bochum. He received his journalistic training (Volontariat) at the regional newspaper Westdeutsche Allgmeine Zeitung (WAZ) and works as a freelance journalist for dpa, Bild and several broadcasting stations.

Laura Schneider-Mombaur, Dipl. Journ., is academic associate at the Erich Brost Institute for international journalism and works as administrative officer at the MediaAct project. She holds a diploma-degree in Journalism of the University of Dortmund. In her final thesis she focussed on transparency and self-reflection in German- and US-american journalism. She has experience as a researcher for the scientific project on German Foreign Correspondents (lead by Oliver Hahn, Julia Lönnendonker and Roland Schröder), where she did research on foreign correspondents in Tokio, Japan. Before she was tutor and student assistant at the Erich Brost Institute and assitant to the management of the PhD committee of the faculty of culture studies. She received her journalistic training (Volontariat) at the public-broadcasting institution Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln. She also works as a freelance journalist.

About MediaAcT

MediaAcT is a comparative research project on media accountability systems in EU member states as indicators for media pluralism in Europe.


Funded by the EC

Project funded under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanties


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