Jun.-Prof. Dr. Niklas Venema

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Niklas Venema

Junior Professor

Kommunikations- und Medienwandel (JP)
Nikolaistraße 27-29, Room 3.03
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-35715


Niklas Venema is a junior professor for communication and media change at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at Leipzig University since April 2022. His research and teaching focuses on journalism, media policy and political communication in a long-term historical perspective. He is currently researching counterpublics in view of political and media change. Before moving to Leipzig University, he was a research assistant at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin from 2016 to 2022. In 2021, he received his doctorate with a thesis on the history of on-the-job training in journalism (the so called Volontariat).

Professional career

  • since 04/2022
    Junior Professor for Communication and Media Change at the Institute for Communication and Media Studies at Leipzig University
  • 04/2016 - 03/2022
    Research Associate at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin


  • 04/2016 - 08/2021
    Doctorate (Dr. phil.) in Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin
  • 10/2009 - 03/2016
    Studies in Communication and Media Science at Leipzig University

The junior professorship is dedicated to the change of media and society as a research focus of the institute in a historical perspective and thus contributes to the characterization and understanding of current transformations. In examining past transformations and their social conditions and consequences, the relevant fields of journalism, media policy and political communication, as well as the public sphere as a whole, are the main focus of attention. In addition, the history of communication and media studies analyzes the changes in scholarly reflection that accompanied the media and political changes. Methodologically, the research work of the junior professorship combines historical source work with social scientific, especially qualitative, approaches.

The teaching focus of the junior professorship is on the transformation of the public sphere, journalism and structures of the media system from the 19th century to the recent past. The courses illustrate the interrelations between media and social change using the example of specific shifts as well as in an overarching long-term perspective and frame the content with a reflection on critical theories of the public sphere and the media. The research-oriented teaching of the junior professorship also introduces the application of qualitative social scientific methods to questions of communication history.

  • Fragmentation, polarization, domination? Political public sphere in change

    Using the example of the differentiation of the press in the German Empire and the Weimar Republic, the interrelationship between media and social change is traced. Systematized by theoretical concepts of research of public spheres, patterns of news coverage as well as political and economic conditions of journalism up to the beginning of the Nazi dictatorship are examined.

  • Methods for studying the change of the political public sphere

    The course introduces central sources for researching the change of political public spheres such as newspapers and magazines, archival documents or autobiographies and introduces the application of (qualitative) communication science methods for historical investigations. Content, document and discourse analyses as well as source-critical and hermeneutic procedures will be discussed.