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The future of the media

Will algorithms replace classical journalism? Experts talk about digital media.

Philipp Hallfahrt, 20.08.2018
Die Zukunft der Medien
© Westend61/Getty Images

We asked two experts about how media use in Germany is changing and which risks are involved in digital media. One expert is a communications scientist and one is a digital marketing professional. Carsten Reinemann is Professor of Communications Science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Manfred Klaus is CEO of Plan.Net, one of the leading German digital agencies.

Carsten Reinemann, Professor of Communications Science at the LMU in Munich
Carsten Reinemann, Professor of Communications Science at the LMU in Munich © dpa

Does media use in Germany have any special features?

Carsten Reinemann: Social media play a less significant role in Germany than they do in other countries. That makes Germany, in comparison say to the USA, far less susceptible to manipulation attempts by people who try to influence votes and create discord via these channels.

Manfred Klaus: In Germany the classic media brands still play a prominent role, including the print brands which have more or less managed to keep pace with digitization. However, Germany has a tendency to cling to traditional business models at the expense of innovation, the ancillary copyright for press publishers is a blatant example of this.

Manfred Klaus, CEO of Plan.Net Gruppe
Manfred Klaus, CEO of Plan.Net Gruppe © Serviceplan

Which risks are involved in digital media?

Reinemann: There’s a danger that people could turn away from quality media. They could lose themselves in the wealth of entertainment options; they could capitulate because of the diversity and contradictions on the net; or they might simply want to see their worldview repeatedly confirmed. We need to promote the ideal of being informed and listening to other opinions, and begin this at school.

Klaus: There are more providers of content. The overwhelming diversity and options are overtaxing the media consumers. From an advertising point of view the trend indicates that the numbers of companies capitalizing on this volume is decreasing: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. The formation of an oligopoly presents a threat to the advertising market.

How do you see the future of the media?

Reinemann: Serious journalistic media are the media of the future in my opinion. I think they will become increasingly important on the net in view of the huge amount of sources, half-truths and fake news.

Klaus: Media brands will lose significance: intelligent algorithms will deliver the contents that are relevant for the user on the appropriate channels.