Wiebke Loosen is one of the best-known journalism researchers in Germany. In this BredowCast she talks to Johanna Sebauer about how her professional career has developed.
In the end, it might have been her aversion to chemistry, which made Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen a journalism researcher. After all, she nearly would have studied biology if she had not been warned in advance that her studies included a considerable amount of chemistry lectures. A subject that - according to her - was not really her thing.
Thus, she enrolled at the University of Münster to study communication science in 1986. After obtaining her doctorate, she came at first to Universität Hamburg, where she also completed her habilitation. In 2010, she finally joined the HBI. In her research, she focuses on topics such as data journalism, the relationship between journalism and its audience or the spreading start-up culture in the industry. Her voice is often heard in the media when it comes to commenting on or classifying current developments in journalism.
Advice for Prospective Researchers
There are many ways to enter science. What is most important for prospective researchers is to find something that really interests them, a question that they are eager to answer. After all, this topic will accompany them for years. "For me, this topic was journalism," says Wiebke Loosen.
Freedom vs. Pressure to perform
Throughout her professional career, she has remained true to research in journalism, apart from a few internships in local newsrooms and in PR. She never wanted to go to the other side, i.e. into journalistic practice. "What speaks for science is the freedom you have here," she says, "You can look for the problems you want to solve yourself." However, this freedom does come at a price. Wiebke Loosen sees increasing pressure on young researchers. "It is always said that as a researcher you have to be on fire for your work. If you burn very hard, you might burn out at some point. I believe that we should accept that there could be phases in life that are productive in different ways."
Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen
Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut