Prof. Gabriele Balbi


Gabriele Balbi is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG), Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, USI Università della Svizzera italiana (Switzerland). 

At this institution, he is also program director of the Bachelor in Communication, director of the China Media Observatory, and vice director of the Institute of Media and Journalism. Furthermore, he is Chair of ECREA Communication History Section. 

He received a BA and MA in Communication Sciences at the University of Turin (Italy) in 2002 and 2004 and a PhD in Communication Sciences and Social History of Communication at USI in 2008. He has been lecturer and visiting professor at several universities: Harvard, Maastricht, Columbia, Westminster, Oxford, Northumbria, Perugia, and Augsburg.


Prof. Balbi's research is focused on media studies with a historical and long-term perspective. His research is at the crossroads of media studies, the history of technology, media archaeology, Science and Technology Studies, the political economy of communication, and cultural studies.

His most relevant fields of research are: 

  • Telecommunications: history of electric telegraph, landline and mobile telephone, and wireless; transnational history of telecommunications with a focus on the International Telecommunication Union.

  • Broadcasting: origins of radio broadcasting; alternative forms of broadcasting; history of broadcasting in Switzerland, Italy, UK.

  • Digital media: intermedia and long term perspective in the history of digitization and digital media; relationships between analog and digital media and, more broadly, old and new media and change and continuity; digital failures; history of media convergence; persistence of old media and old practices over time.

  • Media historiography: role and development of media history over time and its meanings today; relevance of media history for other fields in media and communication studies; history of the field of communication and media studies.

  • Chinese media: history and development of Chinese media historiography; Chinese media companies going out strategies.

For the complete bibliography of Prof. Balbi please follow this link

Selected publicaitons (complete list here)



Phone 41 58 666 4729

Office: USI black building (level 1) 106

Prof. Giuseppe Richeri
Honorary President


He is professor of the Faculty of Communication Sciences in Università della Svizzera italiana since 1996. He wasalso the director of the Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG) and honorary president at China Media Observatory. He teaches History and Theory of Communication, Politics and Economics of the communications strategy and New Media Markets. He is also PhD supervisor and visiting professor of Communication University of China (Beijing).

 He was the Dean of the Faculty for the 2004-2006 and 2006-2008 biennia.After various periods of studying abroad and a degree in Economics from the University of Pavia in 1971, he has carried out research and consultancy in the field of communications for Italian and international institutions including UNESCO, the Council of Europe the EEC, the European Broadcasting Union. He has taught at various universities in France and Spain (including the Ecole Nationale d'Administration in Paris and the University Autonomous of Barcelona, ​​where he has held the UNESCO Chair in Communication) and later in Italy (Faculty of Architecture, Polytechnic of Milan, Faculty of Political Science, University of Florence, Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences, University of Bologna). He has held conferences, seminars and presentations at scientific universities in 20 different countries including Westminster in London, Annamberg School of Communication in Philadelphia, McGill and UQAM in Montreal, Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, American University of Beirut, and Communication University of China, etc..

Other positions he had taken in recent years are: strategic advisor to the Information Service of the European Broadcasting Union, a member of the Committee of the Italian Ministry of communications for national and local TV licenses (1999-2001), member of the Italian Ministerial Standing for digital terrestrial TV (2001-2005), member of the Scientific Committee of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris and the Bordoni Foundation in Rome.

Publications on China Media

for the complete bibliography please follow this link

Selected publications (complete list here)

  • Richeri, G. (2016). Global film market, regional problems. Global Media and China, 1(4), 2059436416681576.
  • Richeri G. (2013), Los medios de comunicación. Tras la entrada de China en la Organización Mundial del Comercio, Telos, June September 2013 pp14-23.
  • Richeri G (2013), I media e il WTO in Cina, Mondo Cinese, Vol 151 (1), pp 50 - 61
  • Richeri G., Qing L. (2010) When West Met East through the Beijing Olympics. in The International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 27 (special issue “Encoding the Olympics – The Beijing Olympic Games and the Communication Impact Worldwide”)

Gianluigi Negro

Scientific Collaborator 


Gianluigi Negro is Assistant Professor at the University of Siena (Department of Education, Human Sciences and Intercultural Communication). He was born in Maglie (LE), he got a BA (2006) and a MA (2008) at Ca’ Foscari University studying oriental languages and Chinese economics. In 2008 he has been working for the General Consulate of Italy in Guangzhou. His dissertation was focused on the Chinese Internet and titled “Web 2.0 in China”. After his graduation Gianluigi started to collaborate with several Italian media reporting the most important trend of the Chinese Internet. In 2010 he got a second MA in ‘Global Management’ at Roma 3 University. The same year he moved to Beijing to work at China-Italy Chamber of Commerce as Publications & Media Relations Executive. In May 2010 he co-founded a collective blog focused on contemporary China. After his PhD at China Media Observatory (CMO), Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) he has been Post Doctoral Researcher Fellow at the School of Communication of Tsinghua and Peking Universities. He is member of Global Internet Governance Academic Network (Giga-Net) as well as the Italian Association of Chinese Studies (AISC). His researches focus on Chinese media history and the Chinese Internet governance.

Selected publications (complete list here)

Zhan Zhang
Researcher/Project Manager


Zhan Zhang teaches at Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG), Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI). She is the academic programme coordinator of Master in Media Management, and she conducts research and organizes scientific & educational activities for China Media Observatory (CMO) at USI.

Zhan finished her bachelor's and first master's degree in TV Journalism in Communication University of China (Beijing), and accomplished her European master degree in Aarhus University (Denmark) and University of Florence (Italy) with the rewarded Erasmus scholarship in Arts in Media, Communication and Culture Studies. She worked for both Chinese media (China Central Television, Kaiming) and Western media (The Independent, Variety) before her academic career. She finished her PhD in Communication Sciences at USI in April 2015, summa cum laude. Between 2016 and 2017, she carried her early postdoc project at Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism of the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, the United States, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

She co-founded the Europe-China Dialogue: Media and Communication Studies (doctoral) Summer School with the School of Journalism and Communication, Peking University in 2014. And she has been supporting CMO and USI to initiate academic collaboration with different Chinese universities in the field of media, communication and culture studies since 2011. 

Her main research and teaching areas include media narrative analysis, international strategic communication, media in emerging markets, and China’s soft power in Europe.

Selected publications (complete list here)