The Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Alpen-Adria-University was founded on 1 January 2013. It succeeds the Commission for Comparative Media and Communication Studies which was founded on 1 February 1994 and was originally named Commission for Mass Communication History (based on a 1991 founded study group at the Austrian Biographical Encyclopedia). The commission was renamed on 14 October 2005.
Media and communication research is one of the key disciplines of the modern media and information society. On the one hand, with the increasing dynamism and complexity of the political and social environment, the opportunity for individual primary experience is diminishing, as a result of which the importance of mediated experience is increasing. On the other hand, the growing diversity of media and new communication technologies are leading to new ways of dealing with content channelled through the media. In consequence, not only the conditions of media production, but also the processes of public opinion formation as one of the fundamental pillars of a democratic community are changing.
CMC investigates the connection between media change and the changing forms of political communication and public opinion formation, and the accompanying consequences for action and responsibility on the macro-, meso- and micro-level.
Investigation of the communication performance of the media, of their structural pre-conditions and their societal consequences calls for an approach that is comparative in many respects. CMC therefore employs a combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis from an international and cross-media perspective.
Research at CMC is independent, methodologically innovative, interdisciplinary, internationally collaborative, and politically relevant.
As an institute supported by both the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Alpen-Adria-University of Klagenfurt, CMC, in keeping with Humboldtian ideals, is particularly concerned to bring research findings directly into education and into public and political discourse, and to give encouragement to the younger generation of scientists and academics.