Prof. Tobias Thomas

Title of presentation: “Role and Impact of the Media in Democracies”  

February 29, 2024 - 6PM

Copinette NYC Restaurant, 891 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Prof. Dr Tobias Thomas at RC NYC
1. A short Bio
Tobias Thomas is Director General of the Austrian Federal Statistical Office ("Statistics Austria"), Professor of Economics at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and Vice Chairman of the Austrian Productivity Council (PROD), that’s Austria's Council of Economic Advisors. At international level, Thomas represents Austria at the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), the United Nations Conference of European Statisticians (UNCES), the OECD Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP) and the Committee on the European Statistical System (ESSC). After studying economics at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and the Technical University of Berlin, Thomas received his doctorate summa cum laude at the Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg, where he later completed his habilitation. Thomas was a visiting scholar at, among others, Columbia University in New York at the invitation of Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz and Anya Schiffrin. Thomas gained further experience in management positions and in consulting in the private sector. He regularly presents his research results at expert conferences and in scientific journals, and he is regularly present in national and international media. In 2023 he was quoted 1,788 times by Austrian media only.
2. The outline of the presentation:
Title: “Role and Impact of the Media in Democracies”
Tobias Thomas will give a lecture on his academic research on the role and impact of the media in democracies. The importance of the media is crystallized not least in the term "fourth estate" coined by Edmund Burke. This is hardly surprising, as the media can have a considerable influence on the perceptions and decisions of citizens as consumers, entrepreneurs or voters. The presentation will provide empirical evidence of the media's influence on two current and highly relevant areas, namely people's concerns about migration and their voting intentions. It will also examine whether the media fulfills its role as the "fourth estate" in Western democracies, using ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX in the United States as examples. Finally, the lecture will provide evidence that the tonality of media coverage is influenced by the weather, among other things.