Institute of Journalism and Media Communication
Director of the Institute of Journalism and Media Communication
Mariusz Kolczyński, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor
Deputy Director of the Institute of Journalism and Media Communication
Dagmara Głuszek-Szafraniec, PhD
The education of journalists in the University of Silesia started in 1969 with the establishment of two-year postgraduate studies in journalism as a response to a need for qualified journalists in Katowice as a publishing centre. In 1975, a major in Journalism was created within the Political Sciences degree programme. The Department of Journalism was established in 1977.
History of the Institute of Journalism and Media Communication
The beginnings of journalism at the University of Silesia are linked to the activities of the Department of Journalism, a unit within the structure of the Institute of Political Science of the University of Silesia, from which the current Institute of Journalism and Media Communication originates. The first employees were responsible for organising journalism studies and coordinating editorial internships, however, as early as 1979, the first research programmes were launched, which also involved students. The subjects related to international communication, foreign cultural policy of some European countries, and history of Silesian and youth press garnered the most attention. The research on contemporary Silesian press was also conducted. The research results of the initial period of the Department of Journalism were published, among others, in the following books: J. Mądry (ed.) Kultura jako instrument polityki zagranicznej RFN w latach 1949 – 1975 (Culture as a tool of FRG’s foreign policy in 1949-1975), J. Mądry (ed.) Koncepcje programowe współpracy kulturalnej RFN z innymi krajami europejskiej wspólnoty socjalistycznej w latach 1949 – 1977 (Programme concepts in FRG’s cultural cooperation with other countries of the European socialist community in 1949 – 1977) Trybuna Robotnicza 1945 – 1980 (The Workers’ Tribune 1945 – 1980)
In late 1970s and early 1980s, the fundamental research direction of the Department of Journalism was developed in relation to the agreement concluded by the Head of the Department and the Management Board of Robotnicza Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza (workers’ publishing co-operative) in the autumn of 1979. On the basis of the agreement, the conditions to design and carry out a long-term research project “Teoria i praktyka prasy i dziennikarstwa lokalnego w Polsce” (Theory and practice of the local Polish press) were created. The project involved research into the content of local periodicals, editing methods in this type of press, research of social reception of local press and its social effectiveness, and the press system and practical consequences of including the local press within it. During the duration of the programme in the first half of the 1980s, surveys, interviews and questionnaires were carried out in more than 90% of the editorial offices of local newspapers. In May 1984, the national seminar “Komunikowanie lokalne oraz jego prasowe i pozaprasowe realizacje” (Local communication and its implementation in the press and outside of it) was organised. In 1985 the Department organised an international conference on local press, in which the representatives of Polish research centres and guests from Czechoslovakia, GDR, USSR, Switzerland, FRG and Austria participated.
In the 1990s, the research interest of the Department’s staff concentrated on the issues of transformation of the media system, primarily in southern Poland. One of the reasons for such interest was the 1995 conference on the transformation of the radio in Poland and worldwide (1990-1995), in which, apart from the Polish researchers from Katowice, professors from FRG, Russia, Great Britain, Sweden, Canada and Slovakia participated.
As of 1 October 2019, the Institute of Journalism and Media Communication split from the Institute of Political Science and Journalism, and began operating separately.
Currently, the research focuses on the issues of the system of communication in Poland, with particular emphasis on the local and regional communication. The research being conducted includes journalistic aspects of functioning in the system of mass communication, social reception of press, and press studies analysis of the content of contemporary periodicals. A great deal of attention is also devoted to the typological characteristics of local and regional media markets.
In addition, the staff of the Institute of Journalism and Media Communication are involved in other avenues of research. There is a strong representation of political communication researchers, engaging in the topics of both political marketing and election campaigns, as well as relations between journalistic and political elites. Another important group consists of researchers involved in various aspects of discourse analysis, as well as in media linguistics, rhetoric, and genology. Topics related to international communication and functioning of media in different media systems are being explored as well. Particularly well represented is research related to the radio, and German and Spanish systems. The Institute also conducts pioneering nationwide research related to communicative subjectivity and the relationship between media, religion, and the state, which is an important theme in worldwide cultural and identity studies.