Hans Bredow Institute

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The Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) ( proper spelling : Leibniz Institute for Media Research │Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) , formerly: Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research at the University of Hamburg ) is one independent non-profit foundation based in Hamburg . The aim of the institute is the interdisciplinary research on the topic of media change and the associated structural changes in public communication .

History of the institute

The institute was founded on May 30, 1950 by the then Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) and the University of Hamburg as a legal foundation under civil law . The institute was named after the secretary of state and Broadcasting Commissioner in reichspostministerium the Weimar Republic , Hans Bredow (1879-1959), who is a pioneer in the technical development of broadcasting made its name. The original name of the institute was officially "Hans Bredow Institute for Radio and Television", because the initial aim was to conduct media research in the field of radio and television.

With the onset of digitization in the 1990s, the focus of the institute also changed. Computers and the Internet were increasingly at the center of research interest. In 2000 the institute was renamed "Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research".

The interdisciplinary orientation of the institute has been promoted since 1979, initially by the then director Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem - through a combination of legal and social science research. This interdisciplinary orientation is also expressed in the professional orientation of the respective directors: Egmont Zechlin was a historian from 1950 to 1967, an educationalist with Hans Wenke from 1968 to 1970, and a sociologist with Janpeter Kob was head of the institute from 1971 to 1979 . From 1979 to 1995 the institute was headed by the legal scholar Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem and from 1995 to 1998 by the political and journalistic scientist Otfried Jarren .

Since the summer of 1998, the scientific management and administration of the institute has been carried out by a scientific directorate in which the two main pillars of the institute's work, communication research and legal media research, are represented. The board of directors initially included Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem (until December 1999), Otfried Jarren (until July 2001) and the communication scientist and director of the institute, Uwe Hasebrink . Since July 2001, the board of directors has consisted of Uwe Hasebrink (chair) and the legal scholar Wolfgang Schulz .

The institute has been a member of the Leibniz Association since January 1, 2019 .


The HBI researches media-mediated public communication and combines the perspectives of social science with law.

The research is divided into three research programs:

  1. Transformation of Public Communication - Journalistic and Intermediate Functions in the Process of Opinion Formation. Research program 1 examines how public communication is created and opinion formed under the conditions of media-mediated public communication that has been changed by digitization processes.
  2. Regulation structures and rule formation in digital communication spaces. The focus of the research program 2's interest is on control structures and rule formation in communication spaces that arise in the course of digitization.
  3. Knowledge for the media society. In research program 3, the institute bundles its transfer research activities in the competence areas "Growing up in digital media environments", "Public service and public value", "Health communication" and "Media history"


Journal Media & Communication Studies (M & K)

The HBI has been publishing the scientific journal Medien & Kommunikationwissenschaften (M&K) since 1953 . Until 1999 she carried the title of radio and television . It is published four times a year by Nomos Verlag , Baden-Baden and is an interdisciplinary forum for theoretical and empirical contributions from all areas of media and communication studies.

Podcast BredowCast

Since 2014 the institute has published a podcast once a month in which research projects and current topics from the media world are discussed.

International Handbook of Media

The Internationale Handbuch Medien (formerly: Internationales Handbuch für Rundfunk und Fernsehen ) was published by the Hans Bredow Institute from 1950 to 2009. The manual provided compact information on the legal and organizational principles in the areas of print, radio and online media, on the most important players, the range of programs and development trends in European countries and in many countries around the world.


Since its admission to the Leibniz Association in January 2019, the institute has been partially financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the joint research funding of the federal states, represented by the Authority for Science, Research and Equality (BWFG) of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg . There are also donations and income from third-party funded projects.


The institute operates a scientific library. Magazines and essays are also evaluated in the catalog.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Leibniz Institute for Media Research: History of the HBI. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  2. Leibniz Association: Media / Press / Press Releases / Details:. Retrieved January 2, 2019 .
  3. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI): Research. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  4. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute: Research Programs. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  5. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI): Journal "Media & Communication Science" - Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  6. ^ Response from ARD publications: Hans Bredow Institute. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  7. Media & Communication Studies (M&K) - Nomos. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  8. Podcast "BredowCast" - Wissenschaftspodcasts.de. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  9. ↑ A look behind the scenes of media research. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  10. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI): Podcast of the Hans-Bredow-Institut. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  11. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI): Publications. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  12. New research institutions in the federal-state funding. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  13. ^ Organization and history - Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  14. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute: Library. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .