Team members

Prof. Leen d'Haenens

Leen d’Haenens is Full Professor at the Institute for Media Studies (IMS) and Vice-dean International Relations of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), where she teaches ‘Analysis of Media Texts’ and ‘European Media Policy’ at BA level, and ‘Media Consumption and Identity’ at MA level.

Through her involvement as the co-ordinator for Belgium in the Europe-wide EUKIDS Online network and the Net Children Go Mobile cross-country research team, she has become familiar with the set-up, management and maintenance of large survey data sets.

She advised the Flemish government as well as the European Commission about the role of governments in steering media literacy, on ways to foster the development of online resilience and online coping strategies targeted at children at risk.

David De Coninck and Stefan Mertens

postdoctoral researchers at the Institute for Media Studies

Sercan Kiyak

Ph.D. Student, Social Sciences, KU Leuven

KU Leuven is the largest Belgian university in terms of research and student numbers, with a track record in fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines.

It ranks in the top 10 of most innovative European universities and the top 50 worldwide. 

The Institute for Media Studies (IMS) strives for international excellence in the research fields of both media and communication. The IMS produces innovative and critical scientific research with a focus on four domains:

  • Journalism & News
  • Strategy & Marketing Communication
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Culture & Policy

In addition, the IMS employs its research expertise to provide quality education, to participate in academic and social debate, and to inspire (inter)national policy.


Team members

Stefan Mertens (PhD, Catholic University of Brussels)

is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Media Studies – Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. He is also partner for the Dutch speaking part of Belgium in the international Worlds of Journalism Project. His research interests include quantitative and qualitative content analysis, media and diversity, media policy analysis, survey research, research on cultural values and journalism cultures and audience reception studies.

Leen d’Haenens (PhD, Political and Social Sciences, University of Ghent, Belgium)

is Full Professor at the Institute for Media Studies – Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. She holds an MA in Romance Languages, an MSc in Press and Communication Sciences (University of Ghent), and a MSc in Information Studies (University of Toronto). Her current areas of research include journalism studies (frame analysis of immigrant and refugees in the news, longitudinal studies on news diversity), media and ethnic minorities (e.g., ethnic discussion forums as a source of social capital for ethnic minorities), digital media and youngsters, and media governance and accountability mechanisms.

The Institute for Media Studies (IMS), is an interdisciplinary research center specialized in fundamental, applied and contract research in the areas of experiences with and uses of media platforms by individuals, (target) groups and organizations.

Strong focus is put on new technologies as illustrated in research on children and adolescents’ internet use, online journalism, videogames, and usability design.

Another focus is on journalism studies: here the Institute works together with Journalism Studies Antwerp (JOSTA) and the Brussels Centre for Journalism Studies (BCJS). Together they constitute a research team studying news production and reception from different angles (i.e. message, producer, audience).

IMS has methodological expertise in: large-scale surveys, content analysis, qualitative research methods, innovative research designs. With regard to research areas relevant for the present project, the expertise of IMS focuses on: Media and ethnic cultural minorities, studying the threefold relation between media and ethnic-cultural minorities (i.e. minorities as media content, as media users, and as media professionals).