How to be a Kickstarter: Training students in media entrepreneurship

Alexander Godulla, Cornelia Wolf, Rosanna Planer (University of Leipzig, Germany)

Kickstarter is a public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity and merchandising. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter has reportedly received more than $4 billion in pledges from 15.5 million backers to fund 257,000 creative projects, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology and foodrelated projects.

These features make Kickstarter an ideal platform for teaching students the basics of startup development. In recent years, we have developed numerous media projects with students using Kickstarter as a platform for learning. On this basis, we would like to offer a workshop that conveys the didactic basics on the basis of central didactic elements. So far, several hundred students have been taught on the basis of this concept. In this way, they not only learned the basics of project planning, but were also introduced to the basics of media economics

The workshop works according to the high-density principle, which maintains that material that is normally conveyed over a long period of time can be compressed into a workshop characterized by intense discourse.



The journalists’ future toolbox – how to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation Gerhard Rettenegger (ORF Salzburg, Austria)

 This workshop addresses the question of what (academic) journalism training has to be prepared for in the future. It consists of three parts:

  1. What are the challenges for journalists and journalism in the future?
  2. What is the status quo in the country of each participant (= current situation of journalism in the respective country)?
  3. Developing concrete proposals on how students can be prepared in the curriculum for the challenges of the future.


I will be starting off with a short analysis of the situation in Austria and my personal experience as “a wanderer between the worlds of communication science and practical journalistic everyday life”.  

In the best case scenario, the workshop will result in a collection of proposals that can be implemented in one form or another in the individual country, depending on the initial situation there.



Innovation of technologies and the changes and innovations in the process of classroom teaching

Hao Shen (School of Journalism at Communication University, China)

The innovation of technologies and changes in instruments has driven the vicissitude of human world. The information revolution has brought society into the Internet era, and the emergence of artificial intelligence is even the liberation of human brain. These social changes have all had an impact on traditional media and relevant practitioners. Thus, the related classroom teaching for undergraduates in journalism and communication is inevitably require changes accordingly.

We are five tutors from the teaching and research section of Survey and Statistics in School of Journalism in CUC, undertaking the teaching work of the series of research methods courses in the college. There are two professors, two associate professors, and one lecturer in our group. The specific courses involved are as follows: Social Science Research Methods, Sampling Theories and Methods, Data Visualization Communication and Application, Communication Research Methods, Artificial Intelligence and Media Integration, and Media Market Research.

In this workshop, we plan to conduct in-depth discussions on the challenges of the series of communication research method courses, and the changes and innovations in the process of classroom teaching in the following aspects:

  1. Updating case data flexibly and introducing the latest research methods on the basis of adhering to the foundation courses teaching;
  2. Paying attention to the cultivation of the awareness and ability of students to have an insight on social affairs and the improvement in their practice ability. On one hand, using cases to teach methods including questionnaires, sampling design, and in-depth interviews in the classroom. On the other hand, students can apply their curriculum knowledge to social practice through the college’s annual “Zi Niu Cup” social survey project;
  3. Applying AI and algorithms to communication teaching;
  4. Adding more introduction and application of big data and artificial intelligence in classroom teaching. Incorporating data mining, text mining, sentiment analysis, social network analysis, spatial geographic analysis, data visualization, data journalism application in newsroom ,etc. into teaching to meet the needs of the development of the times.