The project brings together a group of internationally renowned scholars :



Dr. Katrin Voltmer:

Principal Investigator, investigator Bulgaria
University of Leeds (UK)

Dr. Katrin Voltmer is Senior Lecturer in Political Communication at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds. She obtained her PhD in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin (Germany) and has devoted most of her professional life to the investigation of the intersection between politics and mass communication. Her research focuses on political communication in new democracies, in particular Eastern Europe; media effects on political orientations; and the role of the media in the policy process. Recent publications include Mass Media and Political Communication in New Democracies (2006); The Mass Media in Third-Wave Democracies: Gravediggers or Seedsmen of Democratic Consolidation? In: Gunther/Montero/Puhle (2007): Democracy, Intermediation, and Voting in Four Continents (with Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck); and Agree to disagree: Respect for Political Opponents, in: Park et al. (2006): British Social Attitudes (with Mansur Lalljee).



Prof. Barbara Pfetsch:

Co-Applicant, investigator Poland
University of Hohenheim (Germany)

Barbara Pfetsch is Professor of Communication and Media Policy at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. She previously held a position as senior researcher at the Science Center Berlin for Social Research and taught at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Mannheim. She was a Fellow at the J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. Her research focus on comparative analyses of political communication and on media and the public sphere. Since 2000 she has been one of the principal investigators in the EU-funded project “” which looked at “The Transformation of Political Mobilisation and Communication in European Public Spheres”. Within this project which has triggered empirical analyses in seven European countries she was responsible for the newspaper analyses. Barbara Pfetsch has published several books, including “Comparing Political Communication” (New York/Cambridge 2004) and Politische Kommunikationskultur (Wiesbaden 2003) and numerous articles and book chapters.



Dr. Roberto Espindola:

Investigator Brazil, Chile
University of Bradford (UK)

Senior Lecturer in Politics; Chair, Politics Subject Group; Director, MA in European Integration; Coordinator, Marie Curie Training Site on Europeanisation; Former Head of Department (1997-2001)



Prof. Gary Rawnsley:

Investigator Taiwan, South Korea
University of Leeds (UK)

Gary D. Rawnsley is Professor of Asian International Communications at the University of Leeds. After being awarded his PhD from the Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds, in 1994 he was lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Nottingham before being seconded to be the University Dean of the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. He joined ICS in February 2007. Professor Rawnsley is a leading authority on international radio broadcasting and propaganda, and has published extensively on international propaganda, public diplomacy and information warfare. He has also been a leading researcher on the media in Taiwan’s democratisation with particular interest in election campaigning there. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (Australia) and Visiting Professor at Shi Hsin University, Taipei. Professor Rawnsley has also been a Visiting Professor at National Sun Yat-Sen University (Taiwan) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.



Dr. Herman Wasserman:

Investigator Namibia, South Africa
University of Sheffield (UK)

Dr Herman Wasserman is senior lecturer in Department of Journalism Studies at Sheffield University. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at Indiana University in the USA and guest lecturer at the universities of Leiden (Netherlands), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Limburg Universitair Centrum (Belgium), Illinois (USA), Colorado (USA), Washington-Bothell (USA), and visiting Resource Person at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Dakar, Senegal. He is currently also Associate Professor Extraordinary of Journalism, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Wasserman has published book chapters and articles on postcolonial media, media ethics, and the relationship between media, culture and identity, and co-edited two books on media in post-apartheid South Africa. He is editor of the journal Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, associate editor of Journal of Global Mass Communication and Journal of African Media Studies.



Dr. Qian Gong:

Research Assistant
University of Leeds (UK)

Qian Gong has recently completed her Ph. D. at the Institute of Communications Studies at the University of Leeds where she is also employed as research and teaching assistant. Currently she is assisting a British Academy funded project – Political Communication in New Democracies. Her research interests include media and democracy, media and communication in China, Taiwan and South Korea and discourse analysis. She has contributed three book chapters in Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction: Experiences and Outcomes; e-Journalism: New Directions in Electronic News Media; Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship? She has presented her work at 9 inter/national conferences including 2007 and 2008 IAMCR annual congress. She has also teaching interests in history of communication, communications theory, communications policy and qualitative research methods.


Field researchers:


Jens Adam: Field researcher (Poland)

Regina Bossert: Field researcher (Poland)

Dr. Alina Dobreva: Field researcher (Bulgaria)

Dr. Chun-Yi Lee: Field researcher (Taiwan)

Dr. Yoohee Kim: Field researcher (South Korea)

Joshua Ogada: Field researcher (South Africa and Namibia)

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