© Susanne Lüdeling

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Annie Waldherr

Department of Communication

Room: E 223
Bispinghof 9-14
D-48143 Münster

Phone+49 251 83-23000
Fax+49 251 83-28394

Consultation hours

by individual arrangement via mail

  • Research Interests

    Public Sphere

    • Media effects (agenda-setting, framing, spiral of silence)
    • Dynamics of public communication

    Political Online Communication

    • Agenda-building and political participation online
    • Online protests

    Computational Social Science

    • Agent-based modeling
    • Text-mining
    • Network analysis
  • Short CV

    Since 2017, Dr. Annie Waldherr, *1980, is an Assistant Professor of Communication Science at the University of Muenster.

    From 1999 to 2005 she studied at the University of Hohenheim and graduated with a Diploma in Communication Science. During her studies, she spent a year abroad at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. She worked as a Research Associate for the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hohenheim (2006-2010) and for the Institute of Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (2010-2016). In 2011, she obtained her PhD degree in Media and Communication Studies from Freie Universität Berlin for her work on the dynamics of media attention. In 2016, she was visiting scholar at the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University in Boston.

  •  Memberships

    • International Communication Association (ICA)
    • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK)
  •  Recent Projects

    Working Group "Computational Social Science: Theories, Methodology & Research Ethics"

    With the increasing digitalization of our contemporary societies, «Computational Social Science» (CSS) has become an established field of research over the last couple of years. As a subarea of social science, CSS focuses on computational methods – such as network analysis, text and data mining as well as computer simulation – to examine social phenomena and processes. Due to technological change, these methods have become more and more relevant as they enable to systematically analyze massive digital datasets.

    Translocal Networks: Public Sphere in the Social Web

    The research project is part of the Collaborative Research Center 1265 “Re-Figuration of Spaces” (Coordinating university: TU Berlin). The center investigates changes in experience and constitution of space in light of processes of globalization and digitalization. In this framework, our project examines the spatiality of the “Twitterspheres” in the cities of Berlin and Jerusalem. Asking how virtual urban spaces are constituted through networked communication, we investigate communicative relations among Twitter users, their spatial locations, and the topics they talk about.

    Research Training Group 1712/2 “Trust and Communication in a Digitized World”

    The research training group examines how trust can be developed and maintained under the conditions of new forms of communication. Digitized means of communication change the structure and sustainability of trust because firstly, familiar face-to-face communication is replaced by digitized interactions, secondly, virtual social and office networks emerge and finally, because new forms of relationships between the public, organisations and individuals develop. The postgraduate programme analyses the consequences of these processes for the establishment of trust relationships by the example of four prototypical areas: media, economy, science and sports.

  • Completed Research Projects

    Young Scholars Network: Temporal dynamics and process models in media effects research (2013-2016, funded by the DFG)

    The network of young scholars – funded by the German National Science Foundation (DFG) – collected and discussed concepts and methods of studying temporal dynamics and processes in media effects research. Six selected longitudinal methods were discussed in-depth: physiological measurements, real-time-response, computer simulations, diary methods, dynamic network analysis, and matching. The similarities and differences between these methods were identified and documented with regard to their concepts of time and processes. In this context, Dr. Annie Waldherr and Dr. Martin Wettstein (University of Zurich) contributed expertise on agent-based simulation methods. The network was coordinated by Prof. Dr. Jens Vogelgesang (University of Hohenheim) and Prof. Dr. Michael Scharkow (Zeppelin University).

    Project: Scientific Analysis of Citizen and Online Dialogs on the Quality of Life in Germany (2015-2016, funded by the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Germany)

    In 2015, the Federal Government initiated more than 200 citizen dialogues on well-being in Germany. Furthermore, citizens could share their ideas on the quality of life in Germany on an online platform or send a postcard. For the scientific analysis of approximately 200 written event records, 2500 online answers and 4500 postcards, a team from the FU Berlin headed by Prof. Dr. Barbara Pfetsch and Dr. Annie Waldherr worked closely together with the company CID GmbH. Team members were Peter Miltner, Sophia Ostner, Lars-Ole Müller and Daniela Stoltenberg. The analysis included qualitative and quantitative content analyses using the text-mining software Topic Analyst (CID GmbH). The results were documented in a scientific report and were included in the report of the Federal Government (2016) on the quality of life in Germany.

    Scientific report
    Report of the Federal Government

    Dissertation project: Dynamics of innovation discourses

    Aim of the study was to examine the dynamics of media coverage of new technologies and to contribute to their explanation. In particular, the conditions of the upswing of topics were explored. In this context, the dynamic interactions of events, topics, actors and frames were of specific interest. An agent-based computer model was developed that was able to simulate typical issue-attention cycles by the interactions of social actors and media actors within a virtual media system. The model and its assumptions were empirically examined based on empirical data on the topics “navigation systems” and “RFID” in the German press.

  • Honors

    Top Paper Award - Computational Methods Interest Group, International Communication Association (ICA)
    Best Paper Award of the German National Communication Association 2018 (1st rank) for the best German journal publication in communications in 2017 - German Communication Association (DGPuK)
  • Publications


    Books (Monographs)
    • Waldherr A. (). Die Dynamik der Medienaufmerksamkeit: Ein Simulationsmodell. Baden-Baden: Nomos.
    • Waldherr A. (). Kommunikationsstile von Führungskräften: Eine strukturelle Analyse des Kommunikationsverhaltens in Führungssituationen. Marburg: Tectum.
    Edited Books
    • Strippel C., Bock A., Katzenbach C., Mahrt M., Merten L., Nuernbergk C., Pentzold C. & Waldherr A (Hrsg.). (). Themenheft "Theoretische und methodische Antworten der Kommunikationswissenschaft auf Herausforderungen der Digitalisierung".


    Articles in Journals
    • Stoltenberg, Daniela; Maier, Daniel; Waldherr, Annie. (). Community detection in civil society online networks: Theoretical guide and empirical assessment. Social Networks, 59, 120-133. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2019.07.001.
    • Waldherr A, Wettstein M. (). Bridging the gaps: Using agent-based modeling to reconcile data and theory in computational communication science. International Journal of Communication, 13, 3976–3999.
    • Waldherr A, Geise S, Katzenbach C. (). Because technology matters: Theorizing interdependencies in computational communication science with actor–network theory. International Journal of Communication, 13, 3955–3975.
    • Hilbert M, Barnett G, Blumenstock J, Contractor N, Diesner J, Frey S, González-Bailón S, Lamberson PJ, Pan J, Peng T-Q, Shen C, Smaldino PE, van Atteveldt W, Waldherr A, Zhan J. (). Computational communication science: A methodological catalyzer for a maturing discipline. International Journal of Communication, 13, 3912–3934.
    • Waldherr A. (). Messinstrumente und Sinnkonstruktionen: Methoden als Antreiber und Taktgeber der Kommunikationswissenschaft. Medien & Zeit, 34(1), 40-47.
    • Waldherr, Annie; Wehden, Lars-Ole; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Miltner, Peter; Ostner Sophia; Pfetsch, Barbara. (). Induktive Kategorienbildung in der Inhaltsanalyse: Kombination automatischer und manueller Verfahren. FQS: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, 20(1). doi: 10.17169/fqs-20.1.3058.
    • Schmid-Petri H, Adam S, Reber U, Häussler T, Maier D., Miltner P., Pfetsch B., Waldherr A. (). Homophily and prestige: An assessment of their relative strength to explain link formation in the online climate change debate. Social Networks, 55, 47-54. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2018.05.001.
    • Maier D., Waldherr A., Miltner P., Wiedemann G., Niekler A., Keinert A., Pfetsch B., Heyer G., Reber U., Häussler T., Schmid-Petri H. & Adam S. (). Applying LDA topic modeling in communication research: Toward a valid and reliable methodology. Communication Methods and Measures, 12(2-3), 93-118. doi: 10.1080/19312458.2018.1430754.
    • Maier D., Waldherr A., Miltner P., Jähnichen P., Pfetsch B. (). Exploring issues in a networked public sphere: Combining hyperlink network analysis and topic modeling. Social Science Computer Review, 36, 3-20. doi: 10.1177/0894439317690337.
    • Strippel C., Bock A., Katzenbach C., Mahrt M., Merten L., Nuernbergk C., Pentzold C., Puschmann C., Waldherr A. (). Die Zukunft der Kommunikationswissenschaft ist schon da, sie ist nur ungleich verteilt: Eine Kollektivreplik auf Beiträge im „Forum“ (Publizistik, Heft 3 und 4, 2016). Publizistik, 63(1). doi: 10.1007/s11616-017-0398-5.
    • Waldherr A., Maier D., Miltner P., Günther E. (). Big data, big noise: The challenge of finding issue networks on the Web. Social Science Computer Review, 35, 427-443. doi: 10.1177/0894439316643050.
    • Waldherr, Annie. (). Öffentlichkeit als komplexes System: Theoretisches Konzept und methodische Konsequenzen. Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 65(3), 534-549. doi: 10.5771/1615-634X-2017-3-534.
    • Pfetsch B., Maier D., Miltner P., Waldherr A. (). Challenger networks of food policy on the Internet: A comparative study of structures and coalitions in Germany, UK, US, and Switzerland. International Journal of E-Politics, 7(1), 16-36. doi: 10.4018/IJEP.2016010102.
    • Waldherr A. (). Emergence of news waves: A social simulation approach. Journal of Communication, 64(5), 852-873. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12117.
    • Miltner P., Maier D., Pfetsch B., Waldherr A. (). Online networks of civil society actors as an indicator for politicization? A hyperlink analysis of the food safety issue in Germany. Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, 5(2), 201-220. doi: 10.1386/cjcs.5.2.201_1.
    • Waldherr A., Wijermans N. (). Communicating social simulation models to sceptical minds. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 16(4). doi: 10.18564/jasss.2247.
    • Miltner P., Waldherr A. (). Themenzyklus der Kriegsberichterstattung: Ein Phasenmodell. Publizistik, 58, 267-287. doi: 10.1007/s11616-013-0180-2.
    • Waldherr A., Muck P. (). Towards an integrative approach to communication styles: The interpersonal circumplex and the five-factor theory of personality as frames of reference. Communications, 36(1), 1-27. doi: 10.1515/COMM.2011.001.
    Articles in Edited Books
    • Waldherr A. (). Modelling issue-attention dynamics in a hybrid media system. In Vasterman P. (Ed.), From media hype to Twitter storm: News explosions and their impact on issues, crises, and public opinion (p. 291-311). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
    • Waldherr A., Wijermans, N. (). Modelling the role of social media at street protests. In Jager W., Verbrugge R., Flache A., de Roo G., Hoogduin L., Hemelrijk C. (Eds.), Advances in Social Simulation 2015. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol. 528 (p. 445-449). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47253-9_41.
    • Waldherr A., Heyer G., Jähnichen P., Niekler A., Wiedemann G. (). Mining big data with computational methods. In Vowe G., Henn P. (Eds.), Political Communication in the Online World: Theoretical Approaches and Research Designs (p. 201-217). New York: Routledge.
    • Maier D., Waldherr A., Miltner P., Schmid-Petri H., Häussler T., Adam S. (). Stichprobenziehung aus dem Netz – Wie man themenspezifische Online-Inhalte erfassen kann. In Sommer K., Wettstein M., Wirth W., Matthes J. (Hrsg.), Automatisierung in der Inhaltsanalyse (S. 90-110). Köln: von Halem.
    • Waldherr A. (). The mass media as actors in innovation systems: Their relevance for high-tech policy decisions. In Bauer Johannes M., Lang Achim, Schneider Volker (Eds.), Innovation Policy and Governance in High-Tech Industries: The Complexity of Coordination (p. 77-100). Berlin: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-12563-8_4.
    • Waldherr A., Bachl M. (). Simulation gesellschaftlicher Medienwirkungsprozesse am Beispiel der Schweigespirale. In Suckfüll M., Schramm H., Wünsch C. (Hrsg.), Rezeption und Wirkung in zeitlicher Perspektive (S. 203-220). Baden-Baden: Nomos. doi: 10.5771/9783845231310.
    • Thiemens J., Waldherr A. (). Bewertungsdimensionen einer Kanzlerkandidatin – Eine quantitative Inhaltsanalyse der Berichterstattung über Angela Merkel im Bundestagswahlkampf 2005. In Rodoniklis W., Zander D. (Hrsg.), Düsseldorfer Forum Politische Kommunikation 2008. Schriftenreihe DFPK (S. 158-182). Münster: Lit.
    • Waldherr A. (). Innovationsdiskurse in Medien und Politik – Theoretisches Rahmenkonzept für eine vergleichende Analyse von Themenkarrieren. In Aydin E., Begenat M., Michalek C., Schemann J., Stefes I. (Hrsg.), Düsseldorfer Forum Politische Kommunikation 2007. Schriftenreihe DFPK (S. 291-312). Münster: Lit.
    • Waldherr A. (). Gatekeeper, Diskursproduzenten und Agenda-Setter – Medien als Akteure in Innovationsprozessen. In Pfetsch B., Adam S. (Hrsg.), Massenmedien als politische Akteure – Konzepte und Analysen (S. 171-195). Wiesbaden: VS. doi: 10.1007/978-3-531-90843-4_8.


    • Waldherr A. (). Vivienne Büttner (2015): Akzidentielle Medienhypes. Entstehung, Dynamik und mediale Verbreitung. Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 64, 404-405.

    Reports (Working, Research, Annual Reports)

    • Waldherr A., Ostner S., Müller L.-O., Miltner P., Stoltenberg D., Sona P., Pfetsch B. (). Wissenschaftliche Auswertung von Bürger- und Online-Dialogen zum Thema Lebensqualität in Deutschland. ( ).

    Other Publications (technical specifications, informal publications)

    • Waldherr A. (). AMMA: Agent-based model of the media arena (Version 1). CoMSES Computational Model Library.
  • Talks

    • Maier, Daniel; Baden, Christian; Stoltenberg, Daniela; de Vries, Maya; Waldherr, Annie (): ‘Assessing Strategies for Topic Modeling of Multilingual Text Collections in Communication Research’. 70th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Gold Coast, Australia, .

    • Waldherr, Annie (): ‘Introduction into agent-based modeling with NetLogo’. International Summer School “Social Media as a Digital Agora for Political Arguments, Opinions, and Ideas?”, Duisburg, .
    • Pfetsch, Barbara; Maier, Daniel; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Waldherr, Annie; Kligler-Vilenchik, Neta; de Vries, Maya (): ‘How local is the digital public sphere on Twitter? A comparison between Jerusalem and Berlin’. 69th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Washington DC, United States, .
    • Waldherr, Annie; Geise, Stephanie; Mahrt, Merja; Katzenbach, Christian; Nürnbergk, Christian (): ‘Towards a stronger theoretical grounding of computational communication science: A review of tried and tested social theories’. 69th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Washington, DC, .
    • Maier, Daniel; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Waldherr, Annie; Pfetsch, Barbara (): „TweetX: An R-shiny web application for exploring collections of tweets“. 64. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK), WWU Münster, Münster, Deutschland, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): ‘’. 64. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK), Sonderfenster Kommunikationsgeschichte, Münster, .
    • Waldherr A (): ‘Computational social science’. Colloquium of the Center for Nonlinear Science, University of Muenster, .
    • Waldherr, Annie; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Maier, Daniel; Pfetsch, Barbara. (): ‘’. Invited Seminar, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, .
    • Maier, Daniel; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Pfetsch, Barbara; Waldherr, Annie (): ‘Translocal networks in urban Twitter spheres: A case study from Berlin’. Re-Figuration of Spaces: Mediatization, Mobility, Globalization and Social Dislocation. First International Conference of the SFB 1265, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, .
    • Kligler-Vilenchik, Neta; de Vries, Maja; Pfetsch, Barbara; Waldherr, Annie (): ‘Co-constructing space in urban public spheres: Twitter use in Jerusalem’. 8th Eurasian Peace Science Conference, Jerusalem, Israel, .

    • Waldherr, Annie (): ‘’. “Digital Traces Workshop”, Bremen, Germany, .
    • Waldherr, Annie; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Maier, Daniel; Pfetsch, Barbara (): ‘Translocalization of public spheres in a digitized world’. 7th Conference of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), Lugano, Switzerland, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): „“. Jahrestagung der DGPuK-Fachgruppe „Soziologie der Medienkommunikation“, Rostock, Germany, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): „“. Vitznauer Gespräche, Vitznau, Schweiz, .
    • Hilbert, Martin; Barnett, George; Blumenstock, Joshua; Diesner, Jana; Frey, Seth; Lamberson, PJ; Shen, Cuihua; Smaldino, Paul; Waldherr, Annie; Zhan, Jingewn; Zhu, Jonathan (): ‘Computational communication science: A methodological catalyzer for a maturing discipline’. 68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Prague, .
    • Waldherr, Annie; Guo, Lei (): ‘Wave of opportunity: Frame networks of political challengers and news media during a food scandal’. 68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Prague, .
    • Stoltenberg, Daniela; Maier, Daniel; Waldherr, Annie (): ‘Community detection in online networks of civil society: Theoretical guide and empirical assessment’. 68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Prague, Czech Republic, .
    • Waldherr, Annie; Bachl, Marko (): ‘The contingencies of silent majorities: Revisiting the spiral of silence with agent-based modeling’. 68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Prague, .
    • Geise S, Waldherr A (): „“. Preconference „Neue Theorien (in) der Kommunikationswissenschaft“ im Rahmen der DGPuK-Jahrestagung, Mannheim, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): ‘’. 24th Systems Science Colloquium, University of Osnabrück, Germany, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): „“. Studientag der Ludwig-Windthorst-Stiftung, Münster, Germany, .

    • Waldherr, Annie; Stoltenberg, Daniela; Maier, Daniel; Pfetsch, Barbara (): „Translocalization of Public Spheres in a Digitalized Word: A Theoretical Discussion“. Jahrestagung der DGPuK-Fachgruppe Digitale Kommunikation, Hochschule Macromedia, Stuttgart, Deutschland, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): ‘’. Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research, Hamburg, Germany, .
    • Waldherr, Annie; Schmid-Petri, Hannah (): ‘Authority, hub, or broker: Structural roles of gatekeeping in online issue networks’. 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA, USA, .
    • Maier, Daniel; Waldherr, Annie; Miltner, Peter; Wiedemann, Gregor; Niekler, Andreas; Heyer, Gerhard; Keinert, Alexa; Pfetsch, Barbara; Häussler, Thomas; Reber, Ueli; Schmid-Petri, Hannah; Adam, Silke (): ‘Applying LDA topic modeling in communication research: Towards a valid and reliable methodology’. 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), San Diego, CA, .
    • Schmid-Petri, Hannah; Häussler, Thomas; Adam, Silke; Reber, Ueli; Maier, Daniel; Miltner, Peter; Pfetsch, Barbara; Waldherr, Annie (): ‘Homophily versus prestige: Adding topics to the explanation of link formation on the Web’. 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Sand Diego, CA, .
    • Pfetsch Barbara; Maier, Daniel; Miltner, Peter; Waldherr, Annie (): ‘’. 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), San Diego, CA, .
    • Waldherr, Annie (): „Networks and issue dynamics in digital public spheres: An agent-based simulation experiment“. Jahrestagung der DGPuK, Düsseldorf, Germany, .