Whoever wants to change society must understand its media.

Steffen Burkhardt researches and teaches as professor of media and culture theory, media research and literacy at HAW Hamburg's Faculty of Design, Media & Information with an emphasis on globalization and digital public spheres, political communication, journalism and social media. He is the director of the International Media Center (IMC), one of Germany's leading academic exchange platforms for research on media and globalization. In addition, Burkhardt serves as founding director of the Competence Center Communication (CCCOM).

Burkhardt studied as a fellow of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) at the University of Hamburg. His doctoral thesis  "Media Scandals: On the Moralistic Explosive Force of Public Discourses" was recognized by the magazine Politik und Kommunication (Politics and Communication) as a standard work of political communication. In it, he analyzed the interrelationship of scandals and processes of social transformation.

Under the patronage of the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, in 2007 Burkhardt developed the program "Media Ambassadors China - Germany" in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Foundation. Since then he has ushered additional projects in collaboration with leading university-based teaching and research institutions in countries outside Europe: the American-German Media Program, the African-German Media Program, the Asian-German Media Program, and the Russian-German Media Program. Burkhardt is a founding member of the Global Communication Association (chair: Shanghai) and is active in numerous international organizations. Additionally, he is a member of independent think tanks and a fellow of the American Council on Germany (chair: New York). He was appointed to the transatlantic Young Leaders Study Group on the Future of Europe in 2009, to the European "40 under 40" group in 2013, and to the Young Leaders Conference held by the Council for the United States and Italy in 2015. In 2016, he has been awarded as one of the most influential young leaders in Germany in the category "State and Society" by Capital magazine.

2014 Steffen Burkhardt has held a Chair in Media at the School of Law and Arts of Changsha University of Science and Technology in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province. The media metropolis with 7 million inhabitants, is home of Hunan Broadcasting System (HBS), the second largest television group in Asia.

Burkhardt is currently working on a history of social media – and its significance for European privacy concepts.


American Political Science Association (APSA)
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS)
Deutscher Hochschulverband (DHV)
European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA)
European Journalism Training Association (EJTA)
Global Communication Association (GCA)
International Association of Media & Communication Research (IAMCR)
International Communication Association (ICA)
International Political Science Association (IPSA)
International Sociological Association (ISA)
Journalism Education Association (JEA)
Pro Journal e. V.

International Media Center

More information on the International Media Center (IMC) can be found here: internationalmedia.center