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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