Journalism Professors in the German Democratic Republic: A Collective Biography

Michael Meyen, Thomas Wiedemann


Based on archive material and biographical interviews, this article reveals a dead end of the discipline’s history. Examining all 25 full professors of journalism in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the study shows that the politically motivated closure of the Leipzig department in 1990 buried a paradigm that had lost the connection to international discussions. Even if the invention of the East German alternative was clearly shaped by the communists’ demand for journalists who would fit into the steered media, both the origins and requirements for the field’s professors and their very first steps were quite similar to the rest of the world. However, when globalization and academization took off in full force, GDR professors became increasingly isolated from the field.


journalism education and research, history of the field, academic careers, Cold War

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