Cherno Jobatey has been a university lecturer for many years. It is a continuation of his activism. Being engaged, passing things on, including knowledge, has long been a matter of course for him. Thus, the President of Germany awarded a prize to Jobatey’s reading project for children, “Kopf-Kino für Kinder”. Cherno Jobatey teaches political communication in the 21st century, media economy, the ethics of political communication, digital corporate communication, media history, journalism, rhetoric and business ethics at various universities.
His teaching career began with a coincidence: Professor Dr. Otto Altendorfer met him at the Security Conference in Munich and asked him if he could imagine teaching at a university, as a mover-and-shaker and senior news presenter. “More honor for teachers” might still be a resounding phrase in Wilhelm von Humboldt’s fatherland, but concrete action was required. Months later, Cherno Jobatey found himself at the Media Forum Mittweida.
There were many discussions at this conference,broadside volleys from the students requiring responses. The demand for a stronger presence of established media professionals inside academia made a lasting impression – after all, everyone starts out as a student. Cherno Jobatey had to admit that such guest lecturers had impressed him greatly during his own student days, and taught him much worth knowing.
During such seminars, he debated with German TV legends and US politicians such as George McGovern. As a DAAD Fellow in Los Angeles, he heard Norm Chomsky and Francis Fukuyama speak at UCLA. At the legendary Musicians Institute, encounters with artists such as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Pass, and Jeff Porcaroinspired him. Apart from the spiritual philosophy of the jazz innovator Stanley Clarke, the rock legend Al Kooperhad the most lasting influence on his future path in life, explaining to Cherno Jobatey how to deal withchallenges and opportunities, how to refuel one’s creativity.
What is ethics? Does it go with business at all? How has ethics changed throughout the course of history? This seminar deals with the concepts of the great Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, but also with texts bymore modern authors: what is the role of religions here? Which roles have state and politics played? Are profits ethical? Is there a contractual ethics? The seminar also tries to answer current questions: what are the social consequences of business decisions? What is corporate responsibility? Does the end justify any means? Is profit maximization the ultimate goal, at any cost? Is the business of business really only business?
Contemporary examples, e.g. Jay Z and Lady Gaga, are also discussed. And then there is the sporting approach: Aristotle vs. Confucius! Two concepts for the good life: Aristotle’s view of human goodness in contrast to Confucius’ perspective.
This seminar traces in detail how communication has changed, demonstrating that the analogue world is a thing of the past. The Obama campaign of 2008 – now the stuff of legend, for which the young candidate, however, at first got pitying smiles from his own party’s elite and the media – made political observers worldwide sit up and take notice.
Such changes are analyzed using best-practiceexamples from American, British and also German election campaigns. The costs and means of the new attention economy are explained alongside the technical marketing and communication mechanisms of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), aggregation and curation. The identification ofappropriate campaign issues and their possible implementation are simulated.
Political communication is the nervous system of democracy, as a wise old saying goes. This seminar, however, is less about the “how” than about the “why”. First of all, the seminar deals with fundamentals. Platoand Aristotle, but also more modern authors: Hobbes, Kant, Nietzsche and of course Machiavelli. The ethical basics and preconditions of political communication will be taught. This also includes a discussion of its limitations. To give concrete examples: when, for example, must one tell the truth; when is it permissible to stretch it? Is being a politician a job like any other? Or do professional politicians differ from all other people in their self-concept, attitude and ethical standards? We will also observe the message, i.e. communication itself, whether by text, image or video. This leads to an examination of current theories of communication. The third focus is on the agents of communication, i.e. the media. Is the old adage of the German philosopher Emil Dovifat – “Any form of journalism is dominated by ethos” – still true?
To this day, the job of rhetoric is to meet the audience where it stands, taking everyone along for the ride in motivation and argumentation. In order to convey the message and let the argument be understood, the audience must be interested, entertained, fascinated and convinced. – But how is that to be achieved? Rhetoric, the toolbox of any speaker, was developed to an art form within the political and court practices of ancient Greece and Rome and was even taught in special schools. The seminar begins with preparation: how could strategies of argumentation develop, how does one retain one’s credibility? How can one evoke images in the listener’s mind? An additional focus is on body language, following the old motto: “Excelling in repartee requires aplomb!” The seminar will also analyze the classical toolbox of rhetoric, e.g. alliteration, allusion, allegory, hyperbole and metaphor.
The lecture course on media history combines two approaches: the history of media culture explains during which periods and in which form which media took on functions of control and orientation in cultural and social change processes, why, to what end, and how? Integrated media history examines the historical development of complex inter-medial constellations. What happens when the basic media of text, image, sound and numbers are recombined in new constellations, and what takes place when new media develop as the coming catalysts of change for the basic media?