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Department of Communication and Media Research Science Communication

Daniela Mahl

Daniela Mahl, Dr.

  • Postdoktorierende / Postdoctoral Scholar
Phone
+41 44 635 20 37
Room number
AND 3.26

Curriculum Vitae

since 01/2024

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich

Research project "Science-related conspiracy theories online: Mapping their characteristics, prevalence and distribution internationally and developing contextualized counter-strategies", funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Research project "Imaginaries of Artificial Intelligence: The Communicative Construction of AI in China, Germany and the US", funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

2020-2023

Ph.D. in "Communication and Media Research", Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ), University of Zurich, Switzerland

Doctoral thesis: "Conspiracy Theory Communication and Engagement on Digital Platforms: Conceptualization, Characteristics, Countermeasures"

2019 – 2020

Research and teaching assistant, Institute for Journalism and Communication Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany

Research associate in the DFG-funded Cluster of Excellence "Climate, Climatic Change, and Society", University of Hamburg, Germany

2016 – 2019

M.A. in "Communication Science" and "Linguistics", University of Zurich, Switzerland (with distinction)

2013 – 2016

B.A. in "Communication Science" and "Linguistics", LMU Munich, Germany

Research Interests

  • The socio-cultural implications of digital platforms
  • Online conspiracy theories and misinformation
  • Responsible artificial intelligence
  • Science communication, esp. climate change and environment
  • Mixed methods, incl. computational, quantitative, and qualitative approaches

Publications

See also ORCID, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate

Thesis

1. Mahl, D. (2024). Conspiracy Theory Communication and Engagement on Digital Platforms: Conceptualization, Characteristics, Countermeasures [cumulative dissertation]. University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

12. Mahl, D., Zeng, J., & Schäfer, M. S. (2023). Conceptualizing platformed conspiracism: Analytical framework and empirical case study of BitChute and Gab. New Media & Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/14614448231160457 (Link)

11. Schäfer, M. S., Hase, V., Mahl, D., & Krayss, X. (2023). From “Climate Change” to “Climate Crisis”? Analyzing Changes in Global News Nomenclature from 1996 to 2021. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 13(1), 1-18. doi: 10.15845/bells.v13i1.3980 (Link)

10. Hase, V., Mahl, D., & Schäfer, M. S. (2023). The “Computational Turn”: An “Interdisciplinary Turn”? A Systematic Review of Text as Data Approaches in Journalism Studies. Online Media and Global Communication, 2(1), 122–143. doi: 10.1515/omgc-2023-0003 (Link) [Translation of Article No. 5]

9. Guenther, L., Jörges, S., Mahl, D., & Brüggemann, M. (2023). Framing as a Bridging Concept for Climate Change Communication: A Systematic Review Based on 25 Years of Literature. Communication Research. doi: 10.1177/00936502221137165 (Link)

8. Mahl, D., von Nordheim, G., & Guenther, L. (2022). Noise pollution: A multi-step approach to assessing the consequences of (not) validating search terms on automated content analyses. Digital Journalism, 11(2), 298-320. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2022.2114920 (Link)

7. Schäfer, M. S., Mahl, D., Füchslin, T., Metag, J., & Zeng, J. (2022). From "Hype Cynics" to "Extreme Believers": Typologizing the Swiss population's COVID-19-related conspiracy beliefs, their corresponding information behavior, and social media use. International Journal of Communication, 16, 2885–2910. (Link)

6. Mahl, D., Schäfer, M. S., & Zeng, J. (2022). Conspiracy theories in online environments: An interdisciplinary literature review and agenda for future research. New Media & Society, 25(7), 1781–1801. doi: 10.1177/14614448221075759 (Link)

5. Hase, V., Mahl, D., & Schäfer, M. S. (2022). Der „Computational Turn“: ein „interdisziplinärer Turn“? Ein systematischer Überblick zur Nutzung der automatisierten Inhaltsanalyse in der Journalismusforschung. Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 70(1-2), 60-78. doi: 10.5771/1615-634X-2022-1-2-60 (Link)

4. Hase, V., Mahl, D., Schäfer, M. S., & Keller, T. (2021). Climate Change in News Media across the Globe: An Automated Analysis of Issue Attention and Themes in Climate Change Coverage in 10 Countries (2006-2018). Global Environmental Change, 70, 102353. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102353 (Link)

3. Mahl, D., Zeng, J., & Schäfer, M. S. (2021). From “Nasa Lies” to “Reptilian Eyes”: Mapping Communication About 10 Conspiracy Theories, Their Communities, and Main Propagators on Twitter. Social Media + Society, 7(2), 1-12. doi: 10.1177/20563051211017482 (Link)

2. Mahl, D., Guenther, L., Schäfer, M. S., Meyer, C., & Siegen, D. (2020). “We are a bit blind about it”: A qualitative analysis of climate change-related perceptions and communication across South African communities. Environmental Communication, 14(6), 802-815. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1736116 (Link)

1. Keller, T., Hase, V., Jagadish, T., Mahl, D., & Schäfer, M. S. (2020). News media coverage of climate change in India 1997-2016: Using automated content analysis to assess themes and topics. Environmental Communication, 14(2), 219-235. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1643383 (Link)

Chapters for Handbooks

1. Mahl, D., & Guenther, L. (2022). Content Analysis in the Research Field of Environmental & Climate Change Coverage. In F. Oehmer, S. H. Kessler, E. Humprecht, K. Sommer, & L. Castro Herrero (eds.), Standardisierte Inhaltsanalyse in der Kommunikationswissenschaft – Standardized Content Analysis in Communication Research (pp. 203–212). Wiesbaden: Springer (Link)

Proceedings & Chapters for Edited Books

1. Karidi, M., Meyen, M., & Mahl, D. (2018). Scandals in the Era of Commercial Media Logic. In A. Haller, H. Michael, & M. Kraus (eds.), Scandology: An Interdisciplinary Field (pp. 115-134). Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag.

Reports and Other Publications

3. Mahl, D., & Jarren, O. (2020). Öffentlichkeit. Serie Grundbegriffe der Kommunikations- und Medienethik. Communicatio Socialis, 53(2), 223-229. doi: 10.5771/0010-3497-2020-2-223 (Link)

2. Guenther, L., Mahl, D., De Silva-Schmidt, F., & Brüggemann, M. (2020). Klimawandel und Klimapolitik: Vom Nischenthema auf die öffentliche Agenda. Media Perspektiven, 5/2020, 287-296. (Link)

1. Mahl, D., Brüggemann, M., Guenther, L., & De Silva-Schmidt, F. (2020). Public opinion at a tipping point: Germany’s path to engaging with climate change. Down to Earth Working Paper (preprint). doi: 10.25592/uhhfdm.905 (Link)

Presentations

Conference Presentations

25. Mahl, D., Zeng, J., Schäfer, M. S., Egert, F. A., & Oliveira, T. (2024). Introducing a Context-Sensitive Framework For Studying Fact-Checking Cultures. Paper to be presented at the 24th Annual Conference of the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research (SGKM), 18-19 April 2024, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

24. Volk, S. C., Schäfer, M. S., Lombardi, D., Mahl, D., Yan, X. (2024). How Generative AI Imagines and Communicates Science. Interviewing ChatGPT from the Perspective of Different Audience Segments. Paper to be presented at the Annual Conference of the Science Communication Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), 6-7 June 2024, Zurich, Switzerland.

23. Zeng, J., Mahl, D., Brause, S. R., & Schäfer, M. S. (2024). Visions of AI in the Public Eye: Comparing News Coverage in China, Germany, and the U.S. (2012-2021). Paper to be presented at the Annual Conference of the Science Communication Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), 6-7 June 2024, Zurich, Switzerland.

22. Zeng, J., Mahl, D., Brause, S. R., & Schäfer, M. S. (2024). Comparing AI Controversies: A Multilingual Examination of News Coverage in China, Germany, and the U.S. (2012-2021). Paper presented at the Conference "Shifting AI Controversies", 29-30 January 2024, Berlin, Germany.

21. Yan, X., Schäfer, M. S., Hase, V., & Mahl, D. (2024).  From "climate change" to "climate crises"? Changing nomenclature in climate-related journalism in the Global South and Global North between 1996-2022. Paper to be presented at the 74th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 20-24 June 2024, Gold Coast, Australia.

20. Mahl, D., Zeng, J., & Schäfer, M. S. (2023). Platformed conspiracism: Conceptualizing conspiracy theories on “alternative” platforms using BitChute and Gab as case studies. Paper presented at the 73rd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 25-29 May 2023, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

19. Mahl, D., Kessler, S. H., Schäfer, M. S., Jobin, A., Zeng, J., & Georgi, F. (2023). Conspiracy theories and misinformation in digital media: A Delphi study assessing current challenges, problematic developments, and potential countermeasures. Paper presented at the 73rd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 25-29 May 2023, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

18. Mahl, D., Zeng, J., & Schäfer, M. S. (2023). Die Plattformisierung von Verschwörungstheorien: Theoretische Konzeption und empirische Untersuchung am Beispiel von BitChute und Gab. Paper presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), 18-20 May 2023, Bremen, Germany.

17. Mahl, D., Kessler, S. H., Schäfer, M. S., Jobin, A., Zeng, J., & Georgi, F. (2023). Herausforderungen, Trends, Maßnahmen: Eine Delphi-Studie zu Verschwörungstheorien und Fehlinformation in digitalen Medien. Paper presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), 18-20 May 2023, Bremen, Germany.

16. Yan, X., Schäfer, M. S., Hase, V., & Mahl, D. (2023). From “climate change” to “climate crisis”? The labeling of climate change in global news coverage from 1996 to 2021. Paper presented at the Living with Climate Change Conference, 8-9 May 2023, Bergen, Norway.

15. Mahl, D., Zeng, J., & Schäfer, M. S. (2022). Platformization of conspiracism: Introducing a theoretical framework for investigating conspiracy theories on "alternative" platforms using a case study of BitChute and Gab. Paper presented at AoIR2022, 2-5 November 2022, Dublin, Ireland.

14. Mahl, D., Schäfer, M. S., & Zeng, J. (2022). Conspiracy theories in online environments: An interdisciplinary systematic literature review and agenda for future research. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 26-30 May 2022, Paris, France.

13. Mahl, D., Schäfer, M. S., Füchslin, T., Metag, J., & Zeng, J. (2022). Typologizing the Swiss Populations’ COVID-19-Related Conspiracy Beliefs and their Corresponding Information Behavior and Media Use. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 26-30 May 2022, Paris, France.

12. Guenther, L., Jörges, S., Mahl, D., & Brüggemann, M. (2022). Framing Climate Change: A Systematic Review Based on 25 Years of Literature. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 26-30 May 2022, Paris, France.

11. Guenther, L., Jörges, S., Mahl, D., & Brüggemann, M. (2022). Framing Climate Change: A Systematic Review Based on 25 Years of Literature. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Science Communication Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), 10-11 February 2022, Illmenau, Germany. (virtual conference)

10. Mahl, D., von Nordheim, G., & Guenther, L. (2021). Noise pollution – How search term validation affects datasets and results of automated content analyses. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Methods Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), September 30-October 1, 2021, Vienna, Austria. (virtual conference)

9. Hase, V., Mahl, D., & Schäfer, M. S. (2021). Increasing Interdisciplinarity or Deepening Disciplinary Differences? A Systematic Review of “Text as Data” Approaches in Journalism Studies. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Methods Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), September 30-October 1, 2021, Vienna, Austria. (virtual conference)

8. Hase, V., Mahl, D., Schäfer, M. S. & Keller, T. (2021). The Climate Crisis in News Media Across the Globe: An Automated Analysis of Issue Attention and Themes in Climate Change Coverage across Ten Countries. Paper presented at the 71st Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 27-31 May 2021, Denver, USA. (virtual conference)

7. Guenther, L., Joubert, M., Dudek, J., Mahl, D., & Costas, R. (2021). Comparing journalistic and social media uptake of articles published by The Conversation Africa. Paper presented at the 16th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference, 24-27 May 2021, Aberdeen, UK. (virtual conference)

6. Hase, V., Mahl, D., Keller, T., & Schäfer, M. S. (2021). A crisis that strikes all of society. A cross-national and longitudinal study of the “societalization” of climate change coverage. Paper presented at DACH 21: Three-Country Conference on Communication Science of DGPuK, ÖGK, and SGKM, 7-9 April 2021, Zurich, Switzerland. (virtual conference)

5. Mahl, D., Hase, V., Schäfer, M. S., & Keller, T. (2020). A “societal turn” in climate change coverage? How the media portray climate change as a threat affecting all parts of society. Paper presented at the 18th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, 16-17 November 2020, Zurich, Switzerland. (virtual conference)

4. Hase, V., Mahl, D., Schäfer, M. S., & Keller, T. (2020). Erweitert, nicht ersetzt: Wie Verfahren der automatisierten Inhaltsanalyse manuelle Inhaltsanalysen unterstützen und erweitern können. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Journalism Studies Division of the DGPuK, 24-25 September 2020, Hamburg, Germany. (virtual conference)

3. Guenther, L., Mahl, D., Brüggemann, M., & De Silva-Schmidt, F. (2020). Die Rolle der Mediennutzung bei der Erklärung aktuellen und intentionalen klimafreundlichen Verhaltens: Ein Test zweier sich ergänzender Analyseverfahren. Paper presented at the 65th Annual Conference of the German Communication Association (DGPuK), 10-12 March 2020, Munich, Germany.

2. Keller, T., Schäfer, M. S., Mahl, D., & Klinger, U. (2019). Social bots in science communication: Bot prevalence and activity about ten science-related issues on Twitter. Paper presented at the 69th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 24-28 May 2019, Washington D.C., USA.

1. Karidi, M., Mahl, D., & Meyen, M. (2016). Scandals as a Core Element of Commercial Media Logic: A Content Analysis on Changes in German Journalism (1984-2014). Paper presented at the 1st International Conference in Scandalogy, 7-8 April 2016, Bamberg, Germany.

Invited Talks

2. Mahl, D. (2023). Kommunikation von und Umgang mit Verschwörungstheorien auf digitalen Plattformen. Invited talk at Öffentliche Ringvorlesung "Politische Kommunikation" IfKW Jena, 10 May 2023, Jena, Germany.

1. Mahl, D. (2021). Verschwörungstheorien – Eine gesellschaftliche Herausforderung jenseits der Pandemie. Invited talk at Realgymnasium Rämibühl, 8 October 2021, Zurich, Switzerland. 

Media Articles & Interviews

8. SRF (2024). Social Media: Experten schlagen unabhängigen Kontrollrat vor. Link

7. Zeng, J., & Mahl, D. (2023). The parallel economy: the rightwing movement creating a safe haven for deplatformed conservative influencers. The Conversation. Link

6. Medisiegel (2023). Sicher im Internet über Gesundheit informieren: Ratschläge von Daniela Mahl. Link

5. Horizons - The Swiss Research Magazine (2022). The broad spectrum of conspiracy theories. Link: EN, GER, FR.

4. NZZ (2022). "Elon Musk hat die Meinungsfreiheit im Internet falsch verstanden". Link

3. Hase, V., & Mahl, D. (2021). Coverage of Climate Change Across the Global North and South. Climate Matters | The Climate Debate Watch Blog. Link

2. Público (2021). "As pessoas estão mais inclinadas para acreditar em teorias da conspiração". E Trump só semeou mais desconfiança. Link

1. NZZ (2021). Mit Falschinformationen versucht eine anonyme Quelle zurzeit gezielt, das Vertrauen in die Impfung von Pfizer/Biontech zu untergraben. Link

(Co-)Organized Events

5. Multiverse- and Specification Curve Analysis in R (Workshop with Dr. Philipp K. Masur, Vrije Universiteit, October 2023, Zurich)

4. Coordination Networks on Twitter (Workshop with Prof. Dr. Axel Bruns, QUT Digital Media Research Centre, December 2022, Zurich)

3. API, Scraping oder doch lieber ab ins Archiv? Möglichkeiten und Probleme der Datensammlung und -qualität für Inhaltsanalysen (Preconference to the Annual Conference of the Methods Section of the DGPuK, October 2022, Munich)

2. Misinformation and conspiracy theories in online environments – A Delphi study to assess current challenges, problematic developments, and future recommendations (Workshop with scholars and practitioners, September 2022, Zurich)

1. Teaching Computational Social Science – Where Do We Go from Here? (Panel Discussion, September 2021, online)

Awards & Grants

  • Grant for Organization of Computational Methods Working Group (with, amongst others, V. Hase, T. Gessler, I. Bantel, D. Vogler, L. Kobilke, A. Staender, N. Pfiffner), 2021-2023
  • Semester Award by the Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ), University of Zurich, for outstanding academic achievement in master’s research, 2019

Teaching Experience

(University of Hamburg, University of Zurich)

  • MA research seminar, University of Zurich: “Conspiracy theories in digital media” (one semester)
  • BA/MA seminar, University of Hamburg: "Disrupted public spheres: Polarized debates in times of mis- and disinformation" (one semester)
  • BA seminar, University of Hamburg: “German media system” (one semester)

External Activities & Service to Profession​