Dr. Karin Assmann

Assistant Professor, Journalism

About: Karin Assmann is the former U.S. correspondent for Spiegel television and has written, reported and produced for radio, broadcast and online publications before turning to academia. She teaches Introduction to Video Journalism and Information Gathering.

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Ph.D., Journalism Studies, University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism
M.Sc., History of Political Thought, London School of Economics and Political Science
B.S., School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Assmann’s research focuses on newsroom sociology. She studies issues such as the effects of audience engagement practices on journalists, affirmative action initiatives and their impact on work culture and institutional responses to attacks on news media organizations. Other interests include press freedom, censorship and cybersecurity.

Communication rituals, alternative media regimes and enactments of participatory journalism in rural ‘news deserts’ in Georgia Karin Assmann

Abstract: “News deserts’ are defined as communities with inadequate access to news sources (Abernathy, 2018; Stites, 2011). In an environment increasingly polarized, with social media platforms that support the spread of dis- und misinformation, these gaps in coverage put a strain on democratic processes (Lloyd & Friedland, 2016; McChesney, 2015; Nielsen & Levy, 2010; Pickard, […]

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The “ProQuote” initiative: Women journalists in Germany push to revolutionize newsroom leadership Karin Assmann

Abstract: Using standpoint epistemology and critical mass theories this study examines outcomes of the 2012 ProQuote [ProQuota] initiative in Germany demanding at least 30% women in leadership per newsroom. In-depth interviews with 53 journalists in 21 newsrooms show that ProQuote boosted women’s ascension into leadership by triggering and sustaining a debate about gender in newsroom […]

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Communication rituals, alternative media regimes and enactments of participatory journalism in rural ‘news deserts’ in Georgia Karin Assmann

Karin Assmann and Ev Andrews.(Grady MA student). “Communication rituals, alternative media regimes and enactments of participatory journalism in rural ‘news deserts’ in Georgia.” Accepted for presentation at AEJMC’s 2021 Midwinter Conference (Community Journalism Interest Group) to be held online on March 5 – 6: won the top abstract award from the Community Journalism Interest Group. […]

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Whistleblowers and their faith in journalism: The (d)evolution of trust among the sources that journalists need most Karin Assmann

Abstract: Using in-depth interviews conducted with 12 U.S. whistleblowers  who contacted the press in the 1970s through the 2010s, this paper examines changing perceptions of the news media and journalists among those who have confided in them and how these views have evolved. I find that trust in individual journalists, more so than in the […]

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We are the People: Audience Engagement as Catalyst for Newsroom Unionization? Karin Assmann

Abstract: This study explores the tension between management, journalists and their audience around audience engagement with a focus on the role of newsroom unionization. Ethnographic work in three U.S. newsrooms and interviews with 130 journalists, newsroom managers and editors in four newsrooms, shows that audience engagement work encourages unionization and that journalists in already unionized […]

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Lügenpresse: The lying press and German journalists’ responses to a stigma. Karin Assmann

Abstract: The term Lügenpresse, ‘lying press’, was used by the German National Socialist Party before and during the Third Reich to discredit the news media and to undermine public trust. By 2014, reports of verbal and physical attacks on journalists and news organizations by individuals calling them Lügenpresse, had again become a frequent feature of […]

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Awards and Fellowships

  • Mary Ann Yodelis Smith Award for Feminist Scholarship for: “A quota for women in online newsroom leadership? Lessons from the ProQuote initiative in Germany;” Commission on the Status of Women, AEJMC 2019
  • Stevenson open research competition; top paper award (third place) for “ProQuote: A German woman journalists’ initiative to revolutionize newsroom leadership” InternationalCommunication Division, AEJMC 2018