Associate Professor

Room: K9672

Sarah Ganter

Sarah Anne Ganter (PhD, University of Vienna, 2017) is an Associate Professor of Communication and Cultural Policy at the School of Communication. She was previously a research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, UK, and a pre-doctoral researcher at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna, Austria. She is an expert in the areas of media governance and media policy in the digital era, content industries, comparative and cross-border research. Her expertise includes analyzing media and digital policy transformations from a theoretical perspective that focuses on the dynamics and interactions shaping institutional fields. Dr. Ganter’ s work is influenced by a cosmopolitan approach to academic work, integrating scholarly work from different cultural, linguistic and geographical academic settings.

Dr. Ganter has published in New Media and SocietyDigital JournalismThe International Journal of CommunicationThe European Journal of CommunicationThe Information Society, The Qualitative ReportMedien Journal and in various international book projects. Her co-authored book “The Power of Platforms: Shaping Media and Society” is published with Oxford University Press (2022). It is the first book-length treatment of the power of technology platforms over news and media and brings together work from journalism, platform studies, political science, and economics to understand the entanglements between platforms and publishers.

Her second book is a co-edited volume, "Media Governance: A Cosmopolitan Critique" and published in the Palgrave/ IAMCR Global Transformations in Media and Communication Research Series. Through its fourteen chapters, the volume offers a critical map to navigate the field of Media Governance and establishes Cosmopolitan Critique as a decentering methodological approach by introducing ‘cosmopolitan iteration’. 

Dr. Ganter is a Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. She is involved and invested in service to our global research community. Currently, she serves on the editorial board of the Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business book series. She had previously served four years as the YECREA Communication Law and Policy representative and regularly works as reviewer for internationally ranked journals and conferences such as The International Journal of CommunicationCommunication TheoryThe Journal of Communication, Journalism PracticeNew Media and SocietyThe European Journal of Communication, Convergence, The International Journal of Press/Politics, The International Journal of Qualitative Methods, ICA, IAMCR and ECREA. Dr. Ganter is also a member of several communication studies associations, such as the German Communication Association (DGPuK), the International Communication Association (ICA) and Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet).

For a complete overview over Dr. Ganter ́s research, please consult her Google Scholar and Research Gate profiles or  her personal website.

Prospective students:

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies at Simon Fraser University in the fields of communication and cultural policy, platform governance, journalism, media structures or de-westernization of media and communication studies please contact me at

At the moment, I am specifically interested in working with candidates (MA and PhD) in the following thematic areas:

  • platformed journalism and disentanglements from digital platform dependencies (see e.g. my book)
  • independent journalism and ‘positive dependence’ (see e.g. my article)
  • platform policy discourses (see e.g. this and this article and ongoing work from my SSHRC grant)
  • academic cosmopolitanism and epistemic transformation (see several of my articles and book chapters and my book)
  • cultural industries in acute crisis and digital acceleration (see e.g. forthcoming work)

Read here for more information on the application process and graduate studies in the School of Communication at the SFU. Please note that I can voice support for a candidate (and I am happy to do so if it’s a good fit and the candidate has a strong profile!), however, candidates are ultimately selected by a committee at school level.


  • PhD in Journalism and Communication (Universität Wien, Austria)
  • MA in International Communications (University of Leeds, UK)
  • MA in Intercultural Business Management (Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • MA in Cultural Area Studies, Economics and Applied Languages (Universität Passau, Germany)

Currently Teaching


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.


  • Media and communication governance in the global content industries
  • Platforms and challenges for content industries and regulatory power
  • Academic cosmopolitanism

The book offers a critical map to navigate the field of media governance. A thread of cosmopolitan critique connects the fourteen chapters to enhance media governance literature beyond the West and regional foci. The first part addresses the epistemological and ontological flaws in the use and adaptation of media governance. The second part opens pathways for critique and provides a thorough understanding of the ambivalences that scholars encounter when addressing media governance as a field of study. The third part highlights shortcomings like geographical narrowness and tensions in the use of media governance concepts. The scholarly contributions show that media governance as a field of study is far from being established: its conceptualizations are in flux and need scholarly self-reflection, and ongoing discussions need to leave behind universalist conceptualizations and methods of analysis. The chapters reflect on hegemony, power, sovereignty, and identity as conceptual center points in media governance research. The book uniquely breaks with self-referential Western academia and is part of ongoing collaborative scholarly efforts towards epistemic transformation through dialogue.

More people today get news via Facebook and Google than from any news organization in history, and smaller platforms like Twitter serve news to more users than all but the biggest media companies. In The Power of Platforms, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen and Sarah Anne Ganter draw on original interviews and other qualitative evidence to analyze the "platform power" that a few technology companies have come to exercise in public life, the reservations publishers have about platforms, as well as the reasons why publishers often embrace them nonetheless.

Nielsen and Ganter trace how relations between publishers and platforms have evolved across the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. They identify the new, distinct relational and generative forms of power that platforms exercise as people increasingly rely on them to find and access news. Most of the news content we rely on is still produced by journalists working for news organizations, but Nielsen and Ganter chronicle rapid change in the ways in which we discover news, how it is distributed, where decisions are made on what to display (and what not), and in who profits from these flows of information. By examining the different ways publishers have responded to these changes and how various platform companies have in turn handled the increasingly important and controversial role they play in society, The Power of Platforms draws out the implications of a fundamental feature of the contemporary world that we all need to understand: previously powerful and relatively independent institutions like the news media are increasingly in a position similar to that of ordinary individual users, simultaneously empowered by and dependent upon a small number of centrally placed and powerful platforms.