The first research group will concentrate on a systematic comparison of the media systems of Germany and Indonesia. Fundamental for the previous work within the cooperation project was the comparative typology of Hallin and Mancini, in which the media is put in relation to the state, political parties, the profession of journalism and the forces of the media market. Since this system is oriented to European and North American conditions, the lecturers and students in this project have critically applied the typology not only to the German-Indonesian comparison, but also questioned and adapted the methods and approaches. The categories of Hallin and Mancini were expanded theoretically and the question was raised whether a system limited to parties’ influence would meet the conditions in Indonesia, where influential “elites” often dominate the media but political parties are not always their central basis for action, for Indonesian democracy still has numerous patrimonial rulings. The state plays an even stronger role in Indonesia in the field of media law than in Germany. But it is precisely the big parties which have a central role in media discourse in Germany which is hardly disputable. In the overall picture, there has been a shift of the polarized power field from the patrimonial state in Indonesia to the corporated state and party system in Germany. In other areas, however, differences are much more difficult to grasp.
However, the conference should not only deal with questions of classical media power, but also address the political importance of new media, which Hallin and Mancini did not take into account. Differences between the media systems appear to be finally blurred. In both countries, the political system as well as the civil society of the social media make use of the influence of these new public spheres. Not the rise of the right-wing populism, but phenomena such as hate speech on the Internet or a fragile party discourse are problems in both media systems. The seemingly asymmetrical comparison between Germany and Indonesia is to be made fruitful in the panel framework for both countries