Dr. Ines Drefs

Program Director MEDAS 21

Curriculum Vitae

  • since 10/2023: Research Project Manager, Policy and Learning, Deutsche Welle Akademie
  • 10/2019 – 09/2022: Postdoc and Program Manager of Post Graduate School MEDAS 21, Erich Brost Institute
  • 04/2018 – 09/2019: ZBW - Advisor, GO FAIR Support and Coordination Office, Leibniz Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
  • 01/2012 – 03/2019: Doctorate (Dr. phil.), Universität Hamburg, Graduate School Media and Communication, Title: „Usage Practices and Democratic Relevance of Journalism in the Social Web. A Multiple Case Study in German International Broadcasting“
  • 02/2017 – 05/2017: External Evaluator, Deutsche Welle Akademie, BMZ Project „Journalism Support Mongolia“
  • 09/2014 – 02/2017: Research Associate, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, EU-Project „Media, Conflict and Democratisation“
  • 1/2012 – 9/2014: PhD Fellowship, Program “Comparing International Media Politics” at TU Chemnitz, Hochschule Mittweida and Hanns Seidel Foundation
  • 12/2009 – 06/2011: Corporate Communications Trainee, Jacobs University gGmbH, Bremen
  • 09/2007 – 11/2009: Master of Arts, University of Aarhus, Denmark (1st semester); University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (2nd semester); University of Hamburg, Germany (3rd and 4th semester), Erasmus Mundus Master Program: “Journalism and Media within Globalisation: The European Perspective”  
  • 10/2004 – 08/2007: Bachelor of Arts, Universitity od Erfurt, Germany. Major: Communication Studies, Minor: Social Sciences
  • 08/2005 – 01/2006: ASEM-DUO Fellowship, Yonsei University Seoul, South Korea
  • 07/1996 – 07/2003: Abitur [high school diploma], Grotefend Gymnasium, Hann. Münden

Research Interest

Media assistance (current project), media and democratization, journalism cultures, and online deliberation


  • Drefs, I. (2022). Onsite actors’ agency within international media development. Global Media Journal – German Edition, 12(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.22032/dbt.55516
  • Drefs, I. (2022). Explaining contemporary media development practice: Building blocks for an analytical framework based on organizational institutionalism. Journal of Applied Media Studies, 10(2).
  • Drefs, Ines (2021). A Chance for Dialogical Journalism? Social Web Practices and Handling of User Comments at Deutsche Welle. Berlin: Digital Communication Research. doi:10.48541/dcr.v7.0
  • Monika Linne; Ines Drefs; Nora Dörrenbächer; Pascal Siegers; Mathias Bug (2021): GO FAIR und GO CHANGE: Chancen für das deutsche Wissenschaftssystem. In: Praxishandbuch Forschungsdatenmanagement. Ed. Putnings, M., Neuroth, H., und Neumann, J. (2021). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Saur. doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110657807
  • Drefs, Ines (2020): Grüne, Anne/Hafez, Kai/Priyadharma, Subekti/Schmidt, Sabrina (eds.): Media and transformation in Germany and Indonesia: asymmetrical comparisons and perspectives. Book review. Publizistik (2020). Download here
  • Thomaß, Barbara; Drefs, Ines (2020): The Role of International Non-governmental Organisations. In: Journalism and Journalism Education in Developing Countries. Hrsg. von Beate Illg und Beatrice Dernbach. Manipal Universal Press.  
  • Drefs, Ines; Thomaß, Barabara (2019): The Participation Approach in Media Development Cooperation. In: Media, Communication and the Struggle for Democratic Change. Case Studies on Contested Transitions. Ed. Katrin Voltmer et. al. Palgrave.
  • Drefs, Ines / Linne, Monika / Tochtermann, Klaus (2018): FAIRe Forschung. Wie Wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken den Herausforderungen von Open Science begegnen. In: BuB - Forum Bibliothek und Information, 70 (11): 636-639. ISSN 1869 -1137 Download here
  • Drefs, Ines; Thomaß, Barbara (2017): Communication and Conflict in Transitional Societies – Integrating Media and Communication in Development Cooperation. Policy Brief. MeCoDEM Working Papers. Download here
  • Drefs, Ines; Thomaß, Barbara (2016): Media Development From A New Angle. DW Akademie guest article. http://www.dw.com/en/media-development-from-a-new-angle/a-36230886
  • Drefs, Ines; Thomaß, Barbara (2016): Supporting Journalism in Conflict Societies. Policy Brief. MeCoDEM Working Papers. Download here 
  • Drefs, Ines; Thomaß, Barbara (2015): Literature Review: Research Findings About Organisations Engaging in Media Assistance in the Fields of Journalism Training, Civil Society Support, and Good Governance. MeCoDEM Working Papers. Download here
  • http://www.mecodem.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Drefs-Thomass-2015_-Research-findings-about-media-asisstance-organisations.pdfDrefs, Ines (2014): “Ten Years That Shook the Media World: Big Questions and Big Trends in International Media Developments“. Book Review. Digital Journalism 2 (1): 121–23. doi:10.1080/21670811.2013.820062.


Conference contributions

  • 19 November 2021: "How important is trust in media development partnerships and what is it important for? First insights from interviews and an online survey with local partners", panel presentation, FoME Symposium 2021, Berlin
  • 9 September 2021: "International media development: Modelling the practices of funders, intermediary organisations and local partners based on organizational institutionalism", paper presentation (peer-reviewed), 8th European Communication Conference, online conference
  • 11-15 July 2021: "Local ownership of notions of ethics, communication and democracy in partnerships of international media development", paper presentation (peer-reviewed), IAMCR 2021, online conference
  • 11 Nov 2020: "Between local contexts and international standards: Modelling the practices of media development actors based on structuration theory", presentation (peer-reviewed), 8th conference on „Comparative Media Studies in Today‘s World“, St. Petersburg (digital).
  • 7 March 2019: „Making Online Research Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR)”, poster presentation (peer-reviewed), 21st General Online Research Conference (GOR), Cologne
  • 9 Oct 2018: „The GO FAIR approach: Building a federated environment for scientific data sharing and re-use based on Implementation Networks”, poster presentation (peer-reviewed), Digital Infrastructures for Research (DI4R) 2018, Lisbon
  • 18 May 2017: „Moderne Medienentwicklungszusammenarbeit – Perspektiven aus Empirie und Praxis”, Gastvortrag, Seminar “Entwicklungskommunikation – Kommunikation für sozialen Wandel” (Dr Kefa Hamidi), Universitty of Leipzig
  • 04 Nov 2016: „Facing ethical dilemmas: Journalists and media development actors in conflict societies“, panel discussion, symposium of Forum Medien und Entwicklung (FoME), Berlin  
  • 22 Sep 2016. „Funding Trends”, presentation, World Forum for Media Development (GFMD), Jakarta
  • 27 July 2016: „Development Cooperation in Conflict Societies: The Role of Media Assistance Organisations” (with Barbara Thomaß), presentation (peer-reviewed), 24th World Congress of Political Science (IPSA), Poznan
  • 25 July 2016: „Democratic Relevance of Social Web Commentary: Citizens’ Response to Journalistic News Coverage”, presentation (peer-reviewed), 24th World Congress of Political Science (IPSA), Poznan
  • 04 Dec 2015: „International Media Development in Conflict Societies”, presentation, workshop “Media, Conflict and Democratisation”, University of Belgrade
  • 03 June 2015: „Journalists in Touch with the Audience. Insights from a Case Study in International Broadcasting”, presentation, training workshop „Ombudspeople in Tunisia”, Erich Brost Institute, Tunis
  • 05 Nov 2014: „Democratic Relevance of Journalism in the Social Web: Journalistic Handling of User Communication”, presentation (peer-reviewed), 5th European Communication Conference (ECREA), Lisbon
  • 01 Sep 2014: „Overtrolled and underliked? Journalismus im Umgang mit Social Web-Kommentaren”, Fachforum Medien, Hanns Seidel Foundation, “Journalismus zwischen den Wogen der Datenflut”, Hamburg
  • 24 May 2014: „Journalistic Social Web Communication: A Theoretical and Methodological Proposal for Analyzing Democratic Potential”, presentation (peer-reviewed), International Communication Association (ICA), 64th Annual Conference, Seattle
  • 28 June 2013: „Professional Social Web Usage – Analyzing Journalism Practice in a Digital Environment”, presentation (peer-reviewed) International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Dublin