Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies


Featured Blog Entries

Date January 2016 / Category News

A two-day workshop about effective scientific communication, given by experts. It is for PhD and 2nd year Master students. The workshop will take place on 24 and 25 February 2016 at Utrecht University.

Date March 2015 / Category News

The symposium "The Datafication of the Public Sphere" at Angewandte Innovation Lab in Vienna provides the platform for a two day master class with Mirko Tobias Schäfer on possibilities and limits of civic participation.

More Blog Entries


Date February 2016

Facebook has emerged as powerful brokers of awareness. Hence, the algorithms managing the dissemination affect the reach of messages and the quality of public debate on these platforms and beyond. As a private company, Facebook is less invested in our public affairs but rather into its immediate profits. Therefore it is inclined to monetize awareness and throttle the so-called organic reach to make you pay for views. B. Traven over at ValleyWag has some interesting insights.


Date February 2016

Michael Massing who has written outstanding articles on the digital journalism now explores how effective reporting on the agenda of the super-rich elite should look like. In this article Massing revisits philanthropy in US American history and questions the political agenda most philanthropic donations are tied to. He calls for novel ways of reporting these activities, tracking money streams and making information publicly available.


Date January 2016

The metaphor of the cloud is deeply misleading in creating an opaque image of de-materialised hardware. This photo essay by Peter Garritano is an excellent opportunity to peek behind the metaphor and get a glance of the hardware and infrastructure that facilitates much of our information processes.


Date December 2015

This amazingly well researched article in the Netherlands most innovative and courageous news outlet De Correspondent names the Think Tanks that influence the debate on TTIP with so-called research paid for by lobby organisations. (the article is in Dutch)


Date December 2015

This article does not particularly deal with new media and digital culture, but it reminds me in a good way of the years I studied film at the University of Vienna. Alex Ross, the distinguished music critic at The New Yorker and author of The Rest is Noise has written this excellent piece on Orson Welles. He is referencing the most relevant books while discussing the popular and the lesser-known works of Orson Welles. A fantastic read!


Date November 2015

Michael Massing has an excellent article in the NY Review of Books where he describes at length how the 1 per cent and their lobby groups are covered or not sufficiently covered by journalism. Massing expresses hope that digital technology is prone to expose how the powerful and wealthy shape society to their benefit while they try to stay out of the limelight. For an informed electorate it is crucial to make their influence public.


Date October 2015

This excellent article by Adrienne LaFrance follows our digitally originating cultural production and convincingly shows how ephemeral online content is. Despite the tremendous efforts of archival institutions such as the Internet Archive, content might vanish any time a server is taken from the net, any time a platform provider goes bankrupt or decides to discontinue a service.


Date October 2015

Christie Aschwanden has a dead-on articel at FiveThirtyEight where she discusses the latest headlines reporting on faulty scientific practice. Using an interactive tool, Aschwanden lets the readers learn how tweaking data into the desired correlations. Rather than following the popular outcry about an alleged systemic problem in science, the article emphasizes the difficulties of establishing facts.



Mirko Tobias Schaefer is a researcher in the field of digital culture.

This website provides information on his research interests and teaching activities.




Mirko Tobias Schaefer

Department for Media and Culture Studies

Utrecht University

Kromme Nieuwegr. 20
NL-3512 HH Utrecht

2000 - 2016 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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