Second round of IMIM applications

The Executive Master’s program “International Media Innovation Management“ (IMIM) is being conducted in close collaboration with experts and executives from academia and business in the value chain of media production. Partners among those companies impact the curriculum by bringing in challenges from their daily business life. Those can be:

  • corporate innovation projects as well as
  • projects of start-up entrepreneurs, freelance journalists, media developers or designers applying for IMIM individually.

Students and their mentors take to these challenges.

IMIM partners either present their personal application as an entrepreneur/journalist/designer/developer/etc. or send a student coming from their corporate environment. They then have the opportunity to suggest real-life projects to be implemented in the company and harness the know-how of IMIM in dealing with particular challenges. Furthermore, there is also the chance to send an executive as guest lecturer to the program.

Student fees are € 20.000/year. Please request your application form here. Applications of potential business partners and experienced individual entrepreneurs and freelancers of the sector are welcome. The application for scholarships ended already.

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TV Forecast 2025: Innovative Formats in TV and on Corresponding Platforms

This gallery contains 23 photos.

What will making and watching TV be like in 2025? On Tuesday, March 10, we aimed at answering that question in a symposium, held as an extension of the Executive MA program “International Media Innovation Management” (imim).  The event was hosted … Continue reading

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Apply for IMIM’s next cycle!

All over the world, media companies are looking for solutions in order to adapt to the constantly changing digital environment. Do you want to be able to steer these change and innovation processes? And qualify for that by pursuing relevant knowledge and by establishing an international network? Then request your application form for our Master’s program in International Media Innovation Management here. Applicants for scholarships are invited to send in their applications by March 31, 2015. Applications of potential business partners and individual entrepreneurs of the media sector are still welcome after that day.

The program is aimed at high-potentials from the media and creative industries – with different positions in their respective value chains: development, financing, content, production, distribution, regulation/legislation. During the two-year study, the students pool their forces together into a media innovation think tank. With lecturers from all over the world and seminars in Austria, Germany, Spain, the US and online, they work together in an international network. The students deal with real-life situations submitted by participating enterprises. Thus, companies participating in the program have a say in the structuring of the syllabus. “The students’ collaboration with academics, management trainers, journalists and business managers is crucial to the program’s sustainable success”, says Program Director Andy Kaltenbrunner, “innovation is to be established as the main currency of exchange in an international team.”

Lecturers are international experts in media, journalism, technology, and change management — some from academia, others within the industry — incl. Wolfgang Blau (The Guardian), Lucy Küng (Reuters Institute, Univ. St. Gallen), Bill Horn (The New York Times), Klaus Meier (Univ. Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), Romanus Otte (Die Welt), José García Avilés (Univ. Miguel Hernández) and many more. A list of lecturers can be found here.

The curriculum is divided into five one-week compulsory attendance blocks (taking place in Austria, Germany, Spain and the US), complemented with e-learning and language courses. Furthermore, the students will carry out projects in international teams. They are required to write and present a Master’s thesis at the end of the program.

For further information please visit our website or If you are interested in a business partnership please contact 

Please request your application form here. Applicants for scholarships are invited to send in their applications by March 31, 2015. Applications of potential business partners and individual entrepreneurs of the media sector are still welcome after that day.

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From the innovator’s lab to the conservator’s blog

Having spent a week at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida, and thus weather-spoilt, we were greeted by icy winds upon landing in New York City. But the next days’ schedule turned the heat up, starting with a day at The New York Times, hosted by Bill Horn, deputy editor of the Times’ video desk.

He brought in Paul Smurl, General Manager of Core Digital Products, as well as Adam Ellick and Jon Galinsky who both are in charge of implementing the recommendations of the innovation report. Next came a visit to the Times’ R & D department, one of the most prestigious innovation labs in the media industry.

Chartbeat provides sophisticated analytics of online content for media and advertisers, or anyone else interested in their audiences’ behaviours. Our group was introduced to Chartbeat’s working methods: They assess content quality based on numbers of users and amount of time spent on a website – the longer users stay, the assumption goes, the higher the probability that the content is good and will draw them back.

At the Journalism School of the City University of New York (CUNY), Jeremy Caplan organised three presentations for the group, delivered by the founders and CEOs of the media start-ups InformerlyWiser and Narratively.

Before a tour of the New York City office of Google, John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media (DFM), second-largest publishing company in the US, gave a talk to the students and told them: Whereas legacy media companies like newspapers are making progress in transition, transformation comes mostly from companies which start from scratch. That is why DFM has partnered with pioneering companies like Tout for video and Rumble for mobile, he added. Paton’s newspaper group is currently up for sale.

At Story Worldwide and at an evening talk with Jeff Mignon, CEO of ad agency RevSquare, the group was drawn into a discussion on the topic of content marketing also known as native advertising or corporate publishing. “Brands are stories” is the mantra of this new approach towards advertising.

The last visit of the trip brought the students to the digital office of the Metropolitan Museum where they were hosted by Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan, formerly in the same position at Columbia University, who also coordinates the museum’s social media activities. The Metropolitan has just tried to ride Kim Kardashian’s coat tails on Twitter.

Sree wrapped the imim trip up with his presentation – and corporate communication tips, such as: “Everyone wants a peek behind the scenes.” That is why the museum’s conservators blogged about the restauration of a 17th-century family portrait. And Sree knows how to tell a story: The picture contains what might be one of the world’s first “selfies” – the painter in a mirror in the painting’s background.

(edited on March 24, 2015)

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14 students and a piano at Poynter

Some of us are still struggling with jetlag, but the others have arrived at having great conversations at Poynter: For this week’s attendance block in the USA, the 14 Master’s students are being coached by several members of Poynter’s faculty and affiliates in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kelly McBride started the group off with her session, reminding them of the fact that journalists more and more become their own paperboys, being responsible for getting the content to the audience. That perfectly pointed to the week’s theme “Your Content Needs a Strategy”.

Carol Mitchell worked on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with them, finding out whether they are more introverts or extraverts and how they make their decisions. At lunch break, Poynter’s recently appointed president Tim Franklin has revealed his 100-day plan of re-inventing the institute to the students. At this very moment, leadership trainer Jill Geisler enthuses the students about giving and accepting feedback. And Roy Peter Clark promised to even roll a piano into the seminar room for his session on Friday…

Follow the group on Twitter — next week visiting the New York Times, Chartbeat, Story Worldwide, Google etc.

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A Master’s Degree in Walking the Line

For imim the year ’13 was an auspicious one: It was a year ago to the day that the first cohort of students graduated. Originating from Austria, Malta, Romania and Serbia, the students, all of them media professionals, completed the academic part-time program involving interdisciplinary and intercultural team work. Over the course of their two-year study, they attended seminars in Austria, Germany, Spain, the United States and visited The New York Times, Huffington Post, Die Welt, Austrian Press Agency, El País and many more.


At the ceremony: imim students and graduates on Oct. 2nd, 2013, at Vienna’s City Hall.

In his speech at the graduation ceremony at Vienna’s City Hall, Wolfgang Blau, Director of Digital Strategy at The Guardian, encouraged the students to walk the thin line between keeping creative and open minds and, on the other hand, discharging their “thorough, but slightly boring” duties of managing their accomplishments.

Did it work out for them? Did they master this ambitious challenge?

“Well”, Dieter Bornemann, an imim alumnus of the first generation, says, “imim helped immensely.” Dieter is a journalist at the Austrian public broadcaster ORF and the elected spokesperson of his colleagues there. As part of one of his projects at imim he created a “social media academy” and introduced a set of social media guidelines for the ORF journalists. He graduated with a thesis on “The Future Implementation of a Multimedia Newsroom at ORF” for which he did a survey among 236 employees of the broadcaster. Besides influencing internal processes, Dieter presented his results twice at conferences of the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva and Paris and is an often invited expert in this field.

Generally, Dieter says that the program broadened his mind: Watching current trends as conveyed by lecturers or as seen in situ during visits to news organisations in, say, the U.S. opened up new perspectives for him. “Two years ago in New York, everyone talked about ‘mobile news’. The trend has only just reached Europe.”

The current cohort of imim students is scheduled to travel to the U.S. in November, for a seminar week at The Poynter Institute and visits of The New York Times, City University, Story Worldwide, Chartbeat etc. There will be many new perspectives to be taken in.

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10 things you should think about when integrating your newsroom

“What does it take to change the newsroom?”: The current issue of EBU’s magazine tech-i (ebu_tech-i_020, page 5) features a synopsis of Dieter Bornemann’s thesis at IMIM_Master. Dieter lists 10 trends he observed when comparing six cases of newsroom integration withtin the EBU community:

  1. Resistance by the journalists is part of the process — the management has to cope with it.
  2. Multiskilling (=one journalist working for many different media types) is less common than working bi-medial.
  3. Political independence is a must.
  4. There is a good chance that the newsroom management will be changed in order to break the resistance against newsroom integration by the middle management.
  5. Multimedia collaboration still needs physical proximity.
  6. The utilization of user-generated content and mobile news needs to be taken into account during planning the transition.
  7. Sharing of content via a proper content management system (CMS) is a key issue in a multimedia environment.
  8. Technology trainings for journalists are crucial.
  9. An integrated newsrooms means more coordination effort.
  10. Professional change management during transition is a must.
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Facing the tsunami: What is the right thing to do?

“We can see the tsunami, but can the others?” José García Avilés, head of the journalism institute of University Miguel Hernández and imim‘s host in Elche/Spain, chose a drastic metaphor to visualize what is currently going on in the media business. Decreasing advertising revenue and increasing usage of mobile devices are just two examples of influencing factors which can be seen both as causes and as symptoms of this tsunami, forcing legacy media to change and start ups to pop up.

The third attendance block of the Executive Master’s program in International Media Innovation Management – imim focused on the overall topic of “what the media does to society — and vice versa”. Tying in with his seminar in Berlin, Romanus Otte, General Manager at Welt Digital, started off the week with letting the students pitch innovative business ideas for the regions they come from, for the people who live there. The winning project, a passionate proposal for press freedom, came from Macedonia.

Together with José, Klaus Meier (University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt) not only discussed current concepts in journalism studies such as product vs. process journalism with the class, but also advised the students on their research proposals. Program director Andy Kaltenbrunner integrated national examples of media politics issues into his seminar, featuring a new law restricting the freedom of research in Namibia and Lafka kiosks controlling newspaper distribution in Bulgaria.

Karen Sanders discussed several examples of media ethics with the international group, asking them: “What is the right thing to do?”. Wrapping up this year’s sessions in Elche, Bill Horn, deputy editor of the New York Times’ video desk, shared information on workflow, audience and innovation management at one of the biggest brands in media business. He assigned the students to work on a video project they will have to present upon arrival in New York City, where the course of imim studies will take them to in November.

Photos by Félix Arias and Fátima Navarro.

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Who wants to work in a multimedia newsroom? — or: How imim students shape the future of media

47 questions to survey the attitude towards a multimedia newsroom: that’s what Dieter Bornemann evaluated in an online questionnaire among his colleagues at the Austrian public broadcaster ORF. Dieter is not only their elected spokesperson but also a first-cohort student of the Executive Master’s program in International Media Innovation Management — imim who graduated in October 2013.

Alexander Wrabetz (CEO of Austrian public broadcaster ORF) using Bornemann's thesis for his presentation of the future ORF newsroom. (c) Wimmer

Alexander Wrabetz (CEO of Austrian public broadcaster ORF) using Bornemann’s thesis for his presentation of the future ORF newsroom. (c) Wimmer

Recently, Dieter’s thesis has been used to argue the meaning of a change process at the ORF and other traditional broadcasters: in external and internal discussions like board meetings. Even the European Broadcasting Union EBU invited Dieter to Geneva to present his conclusions to all EBU members.

207 journalists of the station’s TV, radio and online news answered the survey about the introduction of a multimedia newsroom. Dieter evaluated how ORF journalists approach a convergent workplace. Besides, he compared six radio and TV stations — from the BBC to Danish Broadcaster DR — and how their journalists’ work changed in a multimedia environment.

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imim – where “weak ties” promote creativity and innovation

“First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin”? For imim students, this Leonard Cohen song would have to be sung the other way around: After having met at Berlin University for Professional Studies last week, they will meet again in November in Manhattan for visits at The New York Times and other media companies (in between, there will be two more attendance blocks in Elche and Madrid/Spain and at the Poynter Institute/Florida).

The Berlin week focussed on improving innovation managers’ soft skills — especially in terms of communication and leadership — by reflecting on their cultural, professional and personal background. The week started off with Gerhard Apfelthaler lecturing on intercultural differences in media economics and management. Gerhard, who is Dean at California Lutheran University and one of the beta-testers of GoogleGlass, spoke about the cultural traits that enhance innovativeness, such as individualism. According to him, individualistically oriented U.S.-type cultures are more productive and acceptant of new problem-solving methods than collectivistic ones (not that individualistic cultures don’t have their downsides, as well).

From professional to personal

British-Swiss media management professor Lucy Küng analysed innovation strategies in media corporations and provided the students with solutions for problems in their day-to-day work. One of her most important “take-away messages”: In order to create an environment which fosters innovation, boost your weak ties! According to social network analysis, each one of us has “strong ties” (family, friends) and “weak ties” (people, with whom you share an interest). These weak ties help stimulate our creative and innovative abilities — much more than our closest relationships. Lucy characterised imim as one of these innovation-fostering environments.

On the personal level, Thomas Bauer supported the students in improving their communication skills; he will follow up with a seminar on leadership in 2015 and will also provide feedback on the group’s development.

Visits at Welt Digital and KircherBurkhardt

A highlight of the week was a visit of the content marketing agency KircherBurkhardt, where founder Lukas Kircher inspired imim students not only with his venture’s portfolio, but also with his entrepreneurial spirit. He recommended keeping a close eye on media channels like The Verge (created in cooperation with Vox Media; former Washington Post journalist Ezra Klein just announced that he would found a new publication at Vox). 

A second highlight was, Romanus Otte, General Manager of Welt Digital, inviting the group to the publication’s brand new newsroom. Though part of Welt Digital, daily Die Welt just happens to be printed on paper. Editor-in-chief Jan-Eric Peters had a off-the-record talk with the students in order to explain Welt Digital’s strategy. 

For the next attendance block in Spain, Romanus Otte gave the students the assignment to come up with ideas for start-ups or projects in their respective countries. The task will be rounded off by students presenting their projects to foreign investors in a mock “elevator pitch”: Each student is allocated about 1 minute to pitch their idea to a fictitious investor whom they happen to meet on the elevator.

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