Keywords: Media History; History of Communication; Transnational History; Public.
This article discusses selected approaches in the history of the media against the background of recent changes in both the production and the consumption of all kinds of electronic media. It also takes into account the increasing digitalization of everyday practices. These experiences have motivated numerous scholars from diverse academic disciplines to analyze the mediality of all kinds of historical processes in greater detail. On the one hand, the results of this renewed interest have led to new theoretical and methodological approaches, some of which are briefl y summarized in this article. On the other hand, it deals with the fi ndings of recent inquiries in media studies that have enriched our understanding of general concepts such as «media ensemble» and «public sphere». Although media studies were able to establish themselves in the wider fi eld of historical studies, several challenges still lie ahead. This article highlights four of them: a) the development of a wider trans-epochal approach; b) the study of the rise and reception of modern mass media; c) the relationship between media and political cultures; and d) transnational media history and Europeanization.