Florian Meißner

Curriculum VitaeFlorian Meißner


  • Since April 2015: SIIC PhD Fellow
  • April – November 2014: Research stay at Tohoku University, Sendai (Japan), funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (PhD Fellow April – September 2014)
  • 2003-2009: Diploma at the Institute of Journalism Studies, TU Dortmund (complementary subject: Sociology), Diploma thesis on terrorism coverage in Germany
  • September 2007 – February 2008: Semester abroad at Complutense University, Madrid (Spain), subjects: Information Sciences, Sociology

Academic work experience

  • 2010-2014: Research Assistant at the Institute of Journalism Studies, TU Dortmund, in this capacity Deputy Head of TV Learning Channel “nrwision”
  • 2006-2007: Student Assistant at the Institute of Journalism Studies, TU Dortmund

Work experience as journalist

  • Since 2007: freelancing at West German Broadcasting Station (WDR)
  • 2008-2010: regular freelance work for Second German Television (ZDF)
  • 2005-2006: one year full journalistic training at Second German Television (ZDF)
  • 2004-2005: freelancing at Rheinische Post Düsseldorf
  • Further freelance reporting in the area of sports journalism for online services such as sportschau.de, sport.zdf.de, ZEIT ONLINE, and Spiegel Online, among others

PhD Project

„Journalism and disasters in a cultural perspective. A comparative interview study on German and Japanese media reporting of  ‘Fukushima'”

Media in Germany and Japan have covered the 2011 triple disaster, which is often just called “Fukushima” outside Japan, in quite different ways. To mention just one example, media outlets in Germany focused on the nuclear disaster, and, according to critics, tended to report in a one-sided, sensationalist way. On the other hand, their Japanese counterparts placed more emphasis on the tsunami. They were denounced for an uncritical or even downplaying attitude with regard to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. I argue these differences are too profound to be attributed only to the fact that Japan was physically affected while Germany was not. The analytical approach of this PhD goes much deeper as it explores the different national discourses on nuclear risk, the distinct techniques of disaster reporting, but also the fundamental differences between the journalistic cultures of both countries. On the methodological level, the study includes expert interviews with academics and narrative interviews with journalists from both countries who reported on the disaster. The culturally sensitive approach of this study furthermore aims at contributing to the De-Westernization discourse in Communication and Journalism Studies.


Prof. Dr. Michael Steinbrecher, Institut für Journalismus (IfJ), TU Dortmund);  Prof. Susanne Fengler, Erich Brost Institute, TU Dortmund


  • Meissner, F. (2018). Voices from the Disaster Area. Local and Regional Media in Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures after ‘3.11’. Contemporary Japan. (Link)
  • Meissner, F. (2016). Bunkateki shiten kara mita jaanarizumu to higai. Doitsu to nihon no 3.11 hōdō. [Journalism and Disasters seen from a cultural perspective. German and Japanese media coverage of ‘3.11’]. In: Sakata, Kuniko (Ed.): Hisaichi kara kangaeru 3.11 to terebi. [Thinking about ‘3.11’ and TV from the disaster area’s perspective]. Tōkyō.
  • Meissner, F. (2011). Aufklärung oder Angstmache? Die Medienrealität des Terrors in den Nachrichten von ARD, ZDF, RTL [Public Education of Fear-Mongering? The Media Reality of Terror in the News of ARD, ZDF, RTL]. Journalistik Journal 14(2), 38-39. See also European Journalism Observatory


  • Meissner, F. (2017). What role can journalism play in disaster mitigation? Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster as a strategic case. 5th International Crisis Communication Conference, Lisbon, October 19-21, 2017.
  • Meissner, F. (2017). Journalism in post-Fukushima Japan: How Tokyo-based mass media tested the boundaries of independent reporting after 3.11. Biannual Conference of the European Association of Japanese Studies, Lisbon, August 30 – September 2, 2017.
  • Meissner, F. (2017). Mediale Netzwerke und Resilienz: Formen der Vernetzung zwischen lokalen Journalisten und Betroffenen der Fukushima-Katastrophe [Media networks and resilience: Forms of networking between local journalists and local residents affected by the Fukushima disaster]. Annual Conference of the German Society for Journalism and Communication Sciences, March 30 – April 1, 2017.
  • Meissner, F. (2016). “Clash of risk cultures”: Risikoperzeptionen deutscher und japanischer Journalisten im Zuge der Fukushima-Katastrophe [“Clash of risk cultures:” Risk perceptions of German and Japanese journalists in the context of the Fukushima disaster]. Annual Conference of the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan, November 19, 2016.
  • Meissner, F. (2016). National perspectives on a global disaster: A three-stage analytical approach to German and Japanese media reporting on the Fukushima crisis. 6th European Communication Conference, “Mediated (Dis)Continuities: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures. November 11, 2016.
  • Meissner, F. (2016). Promoting recovery, struggling with centralism: Local media in post-Fukushima Japan. Pre-Conference to ECREA’s 6th European Communication Conference, “Dealing with the Local: Media, Proximity and Community”. Prague, November 8, 2016.
  • Meissner, F. (2016). Ending the ‘Safety Myth’. Failures and Future Challenges of Media Reporting in post-Fukushima Japan. Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ). Tōkyō, July 3.
  • Meissner, F. (2016). Journalism and disasters in a cultural perspective. A comparative reflection on German and Japanese media reporting of ‘Fukushima’. International Conference ‘Comparative Media Studies in Today’s World: New Research Areas and Approaches’. St. Petersburg (Russia), April 20.
  • Meissner, F. (2015). Regionalmedien in Japan nach 3.11: Community-Journalismus im Zeichen der Katastrophe. [Regional Media in Japan after 3.11: Community Journalism in the Wake of Disaster.] Conference of the German Association of Japanese Studies. Munich, August 27.
  • Meissner, F. (2014). Reflecting German media coverage on 3.11. Society of Socio-Informatics Tōhoku Shibu Kenkyū Happyōkai [Scientific Conference of the Society of Socio-Informatics, Tōhoku Branch]. Sendai (Japan), September 27.
  • Steinbrecher, M., Meissner, F., Malter, S. (2013). nrwision – Potenziale und Perspektiven eines partizipativen Fernsehsenders. [nrwision – Potentials and Perspectives of a Participatory TV Channel]. Session of the Media Commission of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia. Düsseldorf, July 19.
  • Steinbrecher, M. & Meissner, F. (2011). nrwision – ein Sender für Partizipation und Qualifizierung. [nrwision – a TV Channel für Participation and Qualification.] Session of the Media Commission of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia. Düsseldorf, October 14.


Email: florian.meissner(at)siic.science