Dr. Annett Heft

Research Group Lead

Annett Heft, Dr. Phil., is head of the research group Digitalization and the Transnational Public Sphere and senior researcher at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her main fields of research are the comparative study of political communication and mobilisation in Europe with a focus on digital public spheres, right-wing communication infrastructures, transnational communication as well as quantitative methods and computational social science. Recent projects focus on right-wing digital news infrastructures in Western democracies, networked publics, and digital communication networks of pro- and anti-EU parties.




Freie Universität Berlin (FU)
  • Positions

    Research Group Lead:

    Research Group "Digitalisation and the Transnational Public Sphere"

  • ©Esra Eres
  • Committees and functions
    • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK)
    • European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA)
    • International Communication Association (ICA)
  • Fields of research
    • Political communication in Europe with a focus on digital public spheres
    • Transnational communication and the European public sphere
    • Quantitative and digital research methods




Heft, A. (2021). Transnational Journalism Networks “From Below”. Cross- Border Journalistic Collaboration in Individualized Newswork. Journalism Studies, 22(4), 454–474. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2021.1882876

Heft, A., & Baack, S. (2021). Cross-bordering journalism: How intermediaries of change drive the adoption of new practices. Journalism. 1-19 (online first) https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884921999540

Trenz, H.-J., Heft, A., Vaughan, M., & Pfetsch, B. (Eds.). (2021). Resilience of Public Spheres in a Global Health Crisis. Javnost - The Public, 28(2), 111–128. https://doi.org/10.1080/13183222.2021.1919385

Heft, A., Knüpfer, C. B., Reinhardt, S., & Mayerhöffer, E. (2020). Toward a Transnational Information Ecology on the Right? Hyperlink Networking among Right-Wing News Sites in Europe and the United States. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 26(2), 484–504. https://doi.org/10/ghk7sf

Hoffmann, M., & Heft, A. (2020). “Here, There and Everywhere”: Classifying Location Information in Social Media Data - Possibilities and Limitations. Communication Methods and Measures. Communication Methods and Measures, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/19312458.2019.1708282

Knüpfer, C. B., Pfetsch, B., & Heft, A. (2020). Demokratischer Wandel, dissonante Öffentlichkeit und die Herausforderungen vernetzter Kommunikationsumgebungen. In M. Oswald & I. Borucki (Hg.), Demokratietheorie und Demokratie im Lichte des digitalen Wandels (pp. 82-101). Wiesbaden: Springer. Fachmedien.

Pfetsch, B., Heft, A., & Knüpfer, C. B. (2019). Transnationale Öffentlichkeiten in der Digitalen Gesellschaft: Konzepte und Forschungsperspektiven. In J. Hofmann, N. Kersting, C. Ritzi, & W. J. Schünemann (Hg.), Politik in der Digitalen Gesellschaft. Zentrale Problemfelder und Forschungsperspektiven (pp. 83–101). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839448649-005

Heft, A., Mayerhöffer, E., Reinhardt, S., & Knüpfer, C. (2019). Beyond Breitbart: Comparing Right-Wing Digital News Infrastructures in Six Western Democracies. Policy and Internet, 10(2), 20-45. https://doi.org/10.1002/poi3.219

Heft, A. (2019). The Panama Papers investigation and the scope and boundaries of its networked publics: Cross-border journalistic collaboration driving transnationally networked public spheres. Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 8(2), 191–209. https://doi.org/10.1386/ajms.8.2.191_1

Keinert, A., Heft, A., & Dogruel, L. (2019). How do news entrepreneurs view the future of their profession? Four theses on tomorrow’s journalism. Journalism Research, 2(3), 162–178. https://doi.org/10.1453/2569-152X-32019-10199-en

Keinert, A., Heft, A., & Dogruel, L. (2019). Wie sehen News-Entrepreneurs die Zukunft ihrer Profession? Vier Thesen zum Journalismus von morgen. Journalistik. Zeitschrift Für Journalismusforschung, 2(3), 171–188. https://doi.org/10.1453/2569-152X-32019-10134-de

Heft, A., & Dogruel, L. (2019). Searching for Autonomy in Digital News Entrepreneurism Projects. Digital Journalism, 7(5), 678–697. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2019.1581070

Heft, A., Alfter, B., & Pfetsch, B. (2017). Transnational journalism networks as drivers of Europeanisation. Journalism, 20(9), 1183–1202. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884917707675

Heft, A. (2017). National Orientations or a Common European Debate? The Representation of the Beginnings of the Greek and Euro Crisis in German and Spanish Quality Press. Javnost - The Public, 24(1), 49–70. https://doi.org/10.1080/13183222.2017.1280252

Heft, A., Wittwer, S., & Pfetsch, B. (2017). Divided They Tweet? A Comparative Analysis of Twitter Networks of Pro- and Anti-EU Parties. In M. Caiani & S. Guerra (Hg.), Euroscepticism, Democracy and the Media (pp. 195–218). London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-59643-7_9

Heft, A. (2016). Nationales Indexing versus Europäische Öffentlichkeit? Die Berichterstattung und Kommentierung deutscher und spanischer Zeitungen zur Griechenland- und Euro-Krise 2009/10. Schriftenreihe Politische Kommunikation und demokratische Öffentlichkeit, Band 13. Baden-Baden: Nomos. https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845265995

Pfetsch, B., & Heft, A. (2015). Theorizing Communication Flows within a European Public Sphere. In T. Risse (Ed.), European Public Spheres. Politics is Back (pp. 29–52). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139963343.004