On- and offline communication in the digital age

Digitisation has undoubtedly impacted the work and self-image of communications professionals. Those working in the media, for example, are no longer dominant gatekeepers because lay citizens, organisations and others can nowadays interact directly with stakeholders. Likewise, communications departments in private and public organisations engage directly with their stakeholders, becoming political and cultural opinion leaders. At the same time, communications is becoming increasingly multimodal, with the rise of virtual realities, mixed realities and artificial intelligence. In this age of digitisation, scholars and practitioners alike need theories and methods for understanding and shaping contemporary communications, and for making sense of the new roles and forms of digital communications. 

Main topics covered by the network:

  • The new actors, roles and practices of communications under digitisation;
  • Multimodal practices and products of digital communications, including Artificial Intelligence (Bots), Virtual Realities and Mixed Realities;
  • The interplay of traditional mass media and social media in communications (e.g. recontextualization practices, the construction of meaning in multimodal discourses); and,
  • The influence of virtual communities and networks on communications.

The aims of the network:

  • Connecting scholars from different disciplines in order to expand the theories and methods, and to build competencies in areas such as multimodality in online environments / identities, citizenship and information influence in social networks / virtual reality, mixed realities, and the uses of big data in communications.
  • Setting up transdisciplinary cooperations with communications practitioners from, for example, domains like journalism and organizational or corporate communications. 

Forthcoming Events:

Summer 2019
Workshop: "Analysing mediatization and journalism practices in a digital era: New methodological challenges", Leysin

Autumn 2019
Colloquium “Linguistics meets computer science”, IAM MediaLab ZHAW

Winter 2019
Workshop on Digital Practices, University of Lausanne

Spring 2020
Panel „Online and offline communication in the age of digitalization“, VALS-ASLA 2020

Summer 2020
Interdisciplinary Summer School, for Bachelor, Master and PhD students: "Interplay between online and offline realities", University of Lausanne

Network Directors:

Marcel Burger, University of Lausanne (marcel.burger@unil.ch)
Aleksandra Gnach, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (gnaa@zhaw.ch)
Crispin Thurlow, University of Bern (crispin.thurlow@ens.unibe.ch)

Other Members:

Martin Luginbühl (University of Basel)
Gilles Merminod (University of Lausanne)
Wibke Weber (ZHAW)
Marta Zampa (ZHAW)