||Electronic publishing, digitisation and improved data transmission allow media compa-nies other forms of co-operation. In addition, different models occur to integrate clients and users in the production process (Fraunhofer IAO 1999A). These trends also offer vast chances to start or extend international activities in the publishing industry.
Besides a few global players, most publisher and media service companies are still ori-ented towards their regional markets. Nowadays many clients act more internationally, information is globally offered via internet, and new telecommunication providers enlarge possibilities to develop and distribute media services. Altogether, this is a challenge to most media companies which have to define their international orientation (Fraunhofer IAO 1999B).
In classical media production, internationalisation primarily manifests itself as an in-crease in activities within Europe, especially in border regions. Such activities are facili-tated by European harmonisation and by a better technical infrastructure, and some customers expect the media industry to internationalise. In electronic publishing, how-ever, regions and closeness are becoming less important in some segments of clients and uses and co-operators, because more of all these activities happen via internet (European Commission 1998).
Nevertheless, the regional orientation is still one chance to serve their specific markets. This specialisation can be a fundament for internationalisation by co-operation, because the transfer of media products into another country does not only demand translation, but needs to be aware of culture, values and habits. Depending on the subject and media channel, users abroad have a different common history, prefer other topics, and are used to specific forms of distribution (Fraunhofer IAO 1999C).
In the German state of Baden-Württemberg, a two-years project focused on international co-operation in the media industry. On one hand, it looked at success factors and meth-ods to establish such interactions, on the other hand, it analysed work flows and im-proved interfaces with internationally cooperating partners.
This paper presents the following results:
1. Empirical evidence of international co-operation in German media compa-nies
2. Case studies of medium-sized German publishers which practise international co-operations, especially in Eastern Europe
3. Analysis and design of organisational interfaces between internationally co-operating partners in electronic publishing
4. Conclusions and recommendations towards companies and politics