Media Academy » Overview

The Salzburg Global Media Academy is a unique three-week action research and critical making program that brings young media makers together from around the world to critique and create civic media for social change. The academy focuses on responding to the wicked problems of the world, and values human connections and co-creation of media initiatives to solve them. We focus on developing media and digital literacies that can be applied to inform intractable issues that face us today. The arc of the Academy is as follows:

  • Mission - The Salzburg Academy challenges students and faculty to harness creative media to inform global problem-solving.
  • Vision - Our vision is to encourage a generation of innovators in journalism, communications research and information design who can drive institutional and community change at scale.
  • Strategy - Our strategy is to convene extremely promising students from highly diverse backgrounds, expose them to leading thinkers and practitioners, and support breakthrough collaborations that result in implementable practices, technologies, and designs.
  • Program - We partner with selected universities to identify students with remarkable promise, and to create a laboratory environment where media innovation can flourish, face-to-face and virtually.
  • Outcomes - Salzburg Academy faculty and fellows deploy media applications, analysis and reporting to produce specific breakthroughs in problem framing, understanding and solution.

Over 70 students and a dozen faculty from all five continents gather annually in Salzburg to work in international teams and across disciplines. Since be founded in 2007, a global network of young media innovators has emerged, with over 830 students, 175 faculty, and a host of visiting scholars and practitioners. In this time, participants in the Academy have built:

  • Prototypes plans for media innovation
  • Global Case Studies that explore media's role in the world across borders, cultures, and divides
  • Digital Vignettes that show media's impact on the world
  • Global Media Literacy Models for engaging communities to be more sustainable and vibrant in digital culture
  • A Network of young media innovators that work to lead and invent the future media industries best suited for success in digital culture

We have had the pleasure of welcoming the following visiting scholars:

  • Richard Goldstone - South African judge who helped bring down the Apartheid / UN chief prosecutor
  • Dana Priest - Pulitzer-prize winning journalist for CBS / Washington Post
  • Richard Ford - Pulitzer Prize Winning Author
  • Bianca Jagger - Social Activist
  • Tom Stoppard - Playwright
  • Henry Jenkins - Founder, MIT Center for Civic Media
  • Anthony Kennedy - US Supreme Court Justice
  • Liz Lufkin - Yahoo News front page editor
  • Charles Sennott - founder of the GlobalPost
  • Will Dobson - foreign policy editor at Slate
  • Lucio Mesquita - director, BBC Monitoring
  • Martin Weiss - Head of Press Dept, Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Maya Morsi - UNDP Egypt
  • Ivan Seigal - Director, Global Voices

Upcoming Sessions in 2018:

Salzburg Global Media Academy
July 15 to August 4, 2018


What Media Can Change

Ithiel de Sola Pool Lecture 2015 - full text
Ithiel de Sola Pool Lecture 2015 - full text
Lucio Mesquita Filho 
Every year, Salzburg Global Seminar invites an eminent speaker to deliver a lecture on the theme of the Impact of Communications Technology on Society and Politics in honor of three-time Salzburg Global faculty member Ithiel de Sola Pool. This year's lecture was delivered by Lucio Mesquita Filho, newly appointed director of BBC Monitoring as part of the ninth annual Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change.

Monitoring the News and the Challenge News Providers Face in the Digital Era

I would like to start by explaining a bit more about BBC Monitoring, the BBC department I currently run. We were created in 1939, initially to provide the British government with access to foreign radio broadcasts.  Since 1943 we have been based at Caversham Park, a stately home in Reading, about 30 minutes by train from central London. The media world has changed considerably but what we do today, in essence, remains very similar to what we did in the 40s. We monitored and continue to monitor what is now commonly called Open Source content. In other words, radio, television, newspapers, news agencies and, increasingly, digital media, including the internet and social media.  The key point here is that what we monitor must be open to others.  In other words, they must be available and open – we don’t go to closed sites or use other means to access websites or social media accounts. Today we have about 400 staff not only in Reading but also in 10 locations around the world, including Delhi, Kabul, Tashkent, Baku, Moscow, Kiev, Cairo and Nairobi. We also engage some 200 freelance contributors. As the world is a big place, back in the 40s BBC Monitoring established a partnership with what is now known as the Open Source Center  the US government department tasked with the same job as ours. By doing so, we manage to be more efficient by avoiding duplication. For instance, OSC may look after the monitoring of media sources in Latin America whilst we concentrate on the former Soviet Union. We are funded through the licence fee British households pay to fund the BBC and our observations and analysis are used by BBC News to enhance our coverage to audiences in the UK and, through the World Service, BBC World News and, audiences around the world. We not only provide BBC colleagues with background information and analysis to help report major stories like the situation in the former Soviet Union or the growth of IS in Syria and Iraq but, by observing open source content, we can also break stories.  Our content is also consumed by the British government and, increasingly, by commercial customers. By effectively being paid to watch TV, listen to the radio, read newspapers and follow what is being discussed on the internet and social media – not a bad job, actually! – we are also well positioned to understand the revolution currently happening in the media sector around the world.

The new media landscape

If BBC Monitoring was vital at the time it was created because of the scarcity of sources of information, we are vital now because of the explosion of sources the digital era brought about. It used to be said that freedom of the press was limited to those who owned one. Now, anyone with access to the internet and a twitter account can make the news.  That’s what I would like to talk a bit more about: the radical changes to the media landscape at a global scale and how this in impacting on the way we produce and use news. I will try and avoid overloading us all with big numbers and long lists but just to illustrate the media revolution we are going through, here are some interesting stats. Naturally, you are all familiar with YouTube.  Google, its owners, say that they have more than 1 billion users across the world, with hundreds of millions of hours of video watched every day. They also say 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day. That’s 18 thousand minutes of video content uploaded every minute.  18 thousand minutes in one single minute. Or 300 minutes every second. It’s hard to pin down exactly how many television stations – traditional or via the internet – exist in the world but a good estimate is that they total between 10 and 15 thousand.  In other words, YouTube alone has more video uploaded in a minute than ALL television stations in the world, put together, are able to broadcast during that same minute. And I am not adding here videos uploaded through other digital services, including social media sites like Facebook, which are seeing a huge growth in video content, too.

The Future of News

I think we are living through a brilliant and exciting time when it comes to media and journalism. But also full of pitfalls. For anyone interested in reporting the world – finding, telling and sharing stories – so much is possible as the entry barriers become negligible. A decade ago, people outnumbered connected devices by about 10 to one. Last year, mobile phones outnumbered people for the first time. And the whole thing will be completely inverted by 2020, with 10 connected devices for every person on earth. Obviously, this isn’t an even process across the globe but these devices are less and less the preserve of the rich and are becoming a much more universal offer. This year’s Reuters Institute Digital News Report – based on a survey with users from 12 countries - indicates that two thirds of smartphone users now use  their devices for news every week. But it also shows that there isn’t a single, uniform way markets are changing.  At one end of the spectrum, for instance, television still comfortably rules in France or Germany as the primary source of news whilst Americans, Australians and Fins already rely on the internet and social media as their main news source, with television trailing behind. It is also no surprise that the younger you are, the more likely you are to use digital platforms as your primary source of news. This is relevant. I always worry when a young journalist in the newsroom say ‘everyone on twitter is saying this or that’. Definining WHO is everyone is key! So, we know that the communications world is radically changing. But what does this all mean to us working or planning to work in the media, especially in news? At the BBC, we set out last year to consider the Future of News over the coming decade or so. We wanted to look not just at the BBC but at the news industry as a whole. Here’s a taste of what we heard and discussed with established and emerging media leaders: As you’ve seen, one of the biggest challenges we identified is that the explosion of possibilities does not necessarily mean we are better informed as a consequence. In the bustling digital world, in fact there less reporting and more noise. And the internet has ripped a hole in the business model of many great news organisations. Ironically, this means vast swathes of modern life are increasingly unreported or under-represented. Take local newspapers, for instance, especially in the rich world. In Britain alone, some 5 thousand editorial posts were lost across local and national press in a decade. Or take international news coverage. Reporters covering foreign news for US newspapers declined by nearly a quarter over the last decade.  And we are also seeing television news becoming a space for older audiences, as the young increasingly head to the internet to get their news. However, as Emily Bell, from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism has pointed out, the internet is not necessarily a neutral curator of the news.  And people in power are also finding they can speak directly to the public without having to face challenging questions from a reporter.   Perhaps we could say that the journalist’s main competitor is no longer another journalist. Often, it’s the subject of the story. It could be argued that this direct connection between people, corporations and political leaders is a positive move. It probably is. In part.  The drawback is that the era of greater connectivity is not necessarily leading to more accountability. The other contradiction is that people feel misinformed. There is more and more data, opinion and freedom of expression out there – but in turn that makes it harder to know what is really going on… This explosion of sources can even make it easier for those who want to manipulate news and information by creating their very own narrative and repeating them often. Even if they could be debunked relatively easily elsewhere in the digital world. I would like to illustrate this point with a couple of cases.  First, Russia. There, most people still rely heavily on television news as their prime source of information, especially outside the major cities. This has given the Kremlin a strong incentive to virtually control the television news output.  BBC Monitoring’s Russia media analyst, Stephen Ennis, can explain this in more detail  At the other end of the spectrum, many Jihadi movements, and especially ISIS, have mastered the use of the internet and social media to promote their causes and recruit new members. Mina al-Lami is one of the Jihadi media specialists at BBC Monitoring: (VIDEO – MINA) So what do we think all this means to established news operations like BBC News? We believe that in the internet age, the BBC is more necessary than ever.  The internet is not keeping everyone informed, nor will it.  There is the risk that everyone runs to the new, fashionable digital world thinking it is the solution to everything. In fact, the internet is also magnifying problems of information inequality, misinformation, polarisation and disengagement. The task remains unchanged: our job is to keep everyone well informed. This is what makes citizens better citizens. But we need to look hard at how we run our news operations. One of these big changes will be the way we serve our audiences. The first step by most media organisations was to develop their multimedia strategy. Typically, that meant bringing together, under one site, television, radio and text content. That was a big step but it is becoming clear that audiences want more than that. It is clear we will need nothing short of reinvention in order to keep everyone informed. For instance, we want to further develop our data journalism capabilities as an additional way of holding people and organisations to account.  We also want to work on more personalised news – this is not just about a personalised index with stories you may be interested in but also a new approach to reporting and editing. And to remain relevant to a much more engaged audience, we must turn large parts of the news into something you do, rather than something you just get. Not everything will work and many will also evolve or morph into something else – after all, in this new media world, the life span of concepts and even platforms can be very short. When you have a chance, have a look at BBC Trending – what we like to see as our bureau on the internet. It reports on what’s been shared around the world but, crucially, why it matters. Or try Outside Source on BBC World News and the UK’s BBC News Channel, with real time news from the heart of the BBC newsroom, bringing together the BBC’s network of reporters and analysts with the latest news trends and feedback on twitter and facebook. My colleagues at BBC Monitoring are regulars on Outside Source. And there’s BBC Shorts – 15 second video news reports; or Go Figure, our information graphics offer currently growing audiences on Instagram. And here’s the challenge to us all. The uneven level of digital take up around the world, the differences in age and preferences, the relentless addition of new technology without the removal of older ones mean will need to grasp both broadcasting to mass audiences and providing personalised services streamed to the individual if we are to maintain our goal to keep everyone informed. We will need to have content for thinking fast and slow – the bitesize breaking news leading to the investigations, analysis and reporting essential to help us get to the bottom of each issue. We will need to have content that appeals to the increasingly big TV screens at home as well as the small ones on smartphones. So, in the exciting, but at times messy and noisy digital age, the need for news – accurate and fair, insightful and independent – is greater than ever. We are lucky because we are living through another media revolution – it must be a bit like how people felt when the printing press was developed, when radio came about at the beginning of the last century, followed by the transformation caused by television when it took off in the 50s. Our task – especially yours as you the new generation of media professionals – is to come up with the ways, concepts and devices to fulfil this need.

To read and join in with all the discussions in Salzburg, follow the hashtag #sac2015 on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices: Justice, Rights, and Social Change is part of the Salzburg Global series “Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change” and is  held in partnership with American University of BeirutAmerican University of SharjahBournemouth UniversityJordan Media InstituteEmerson CollegeIberoamericana UniversityPontificia Universidad Catolica ArgentinaSt. Pölten University of Applied SciencesChinese University of Hong KongUniversity of MarylandUniversity of MiamiUniversity of Rhode IslandUniversity of St Cyril and Methodius, and University of Texas.

Lucio Mesquita - "I think we are living through brilliant and exciting times when it comes to media and journalism. But also full of pitfalls"
Lucio Mesquita - "I think we are living through brilliant and exciting times when it comes to media and journalism. But also full of pitfalls"
Rachitaa Gupta 
During the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices - Justice, Rights and Social Change, Lucio Mesquita, the newly appointed director of BBC Monitoring, delivered the Ithiel De Sola Pool Lecture on 'Monitoring the News and the Challenge News Providers Face in Digital Era'. BBC Monitoring is a branch of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that provides round-the-clock monitoring of open source media across the world to the BBC and commercial news organizations. During his lecture, Mesquita discussed the role of BBC Monitoring since the time of its conception and its evolution in the past 75 years. BBC Monitoring was established in 1939 at a time of scarcity of information sources and provided the BBC with access to foreign radio broadcasts. However, the advent of the digital era has seen an overwhelming flood of information online, especially with the rise of social media and user-generated content, providing BBC Monitoring with a new challenge: not finding new news sources but keeping up with and making sense of the growing swell of "open source" content online. In light of this digital explosion, Mesquita discussed the future of news and the challenges faced by news providers. "We not only provide BBC colleagues with background information and analysis to help [them] report major stories like situation in the former Soviet Union or the growth of IS in Syria and Iraq, but by observing open source content, we can also break stories," Mesquita explained.  He gave the example of Malaysia Airlines passenger jet, Flight MH17 which was allegedly brought down by a Russian-supplied missile shot by rebels in the conflict region between Eastern Ukraine and Russia. According to Mesquita, BBC Monitoring was the first one to notice a post about it on social media. Mesquita said that since its creation in 1939, BBC Monitoring has become ever more vital. The media landscape is radically shifting with an explosion of sources changing how news is produced and used. He cited that as much video is uploaded to YouTube every minute as broadcast by all the TV stations in the world in that same minute. In this world, we still need to make sense of the news. "Your generation," he said to the students from five continents present, "must figure out how to do this." Read our Storify for the highlights from Lucio Mesquita's keynote speech and the complete social media coverage. Read Lucio Mesquita's lecture in full.
To read and join in with all the discussions in Salzburg, follow the hashtag #sac2015 on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices: Justice, Rights, and Social Change is part of the Salzburg Global series “Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change” and is  held in partnership with American University of BeirutAmerican University of SharjahBournemouth UniversityJordan Media InstituteEmerson CollegeIberoamericana UniversityPontificia Universidad Catolica ArgentinaSt. Pölten University of Applied SciencesChinese University of Hong KongUniversity of MarylandUniversity of MiamiUniversity of Rhode IslandUniversity of St Cyril and Methodius, and University of Texas.
Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Civic Voices: Justice, Rights, and Social Change
Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Civic Voices: Justice, Rights, and Social Change
Rachitaa Gupta 
This year the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices - Justice, Rights, and Social Change will see over 70 students and a dozen faculty members from 25 countries spanning over six continents come together for a unique three week program on media literacy and engaged global citizenship. For the past eight years, participants have been gathering annually in Salzburg to work in international teams and across disciplines on dynamic media literacy action plans that address some of the largest challenges our world faces today. This summer, faculty and students of the 2015 Salzburg Academy will engage with three NGO partners: Red Cross Crescent; The United Nations Development Program; and Global Voices. These organizations will be visiting the 2015 Academy to explain their work, their use of and relationships with media, and the local, regional and global “problem space” that they have identified as being of concern.  With the help and direction of the NGO partners, students and faculty at the 2015 Academy will build MAPs — Media Action Plans — to help understand the affordances and limitations of media for social impact. They will work collaboratively to build prototypes and pedagogies that explore how digital media platforms, word and image-based tools, and journalistic storytelling can address major social and civic challenges in the world today. With a strength of over 400 students and 50 faculty members, the Salzburg Academy has worked extensively in the past eight years to produce entrepreneurial plans for media innovation, and a network of young innovators that work to lead and invent the future media industries best suited for success in digital culture. The Salzburg Academy Fellows have also worked to produce global case studies that explore media’s role in the world - across borders, cultures, and divides; digital vignettes that show media’s impact on the world; and global media literacy models for engaging communities to be more sustainable and vibrant in the digital culture. Digital media are reshaping civic life from how we consume and share information to how we understand and communicate about ideas and issues we care about. While the impact of digital media on our culture can seem overwhelming and dire at times, it has also led to a host of new and innovative ways to engage and activate communities.  Media Action Plans explore how digital media can build stronger communities of action around issues that matter. The 2015 Salzburg Academy will explore three key global issues of our time — rights, expression and responsiveness — in collaboration with the Red Cross, the UNDP, and Global Voices.  This year faculty and visiting scholars will provide grounding lectures on media literacy, news literacy and civic media, as well as lead screenings and facilitate workshops and discussions.  Over the next three weeks, the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change will see students and faculty work together on using media to empower communities of action. Much of the learning will be student initiated and driven, and will occur through work on case studies, civic art projects and multimedia production.
To read and join in with all the discussions in Salzburg, follow the hashtag #sac2015 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices: Justice, Rights, and Social Change is part of the Salzburg Global series “Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change” and is  held in partnership with American University of Beirut, American University of Sharjah, Bournemouth University, Jordan Media Institute, Emerson College, Iberoamericana University, Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Maryland, University of Miami, University of Rhode Island, University of St Cyril and Methodius, and University of Texas.
Innovation and the Collision of Ideas
Innovation and the Collision of Ideas
Louise Hallman and Tanya Yilmaz 

How can you discourage bribery in Moldova? Or tackle water shortages in Mexico? Or reduce carbon emissions and deforestation in Indonesia? For the United Nations Development Program, the answers might be found in Salzburg, from enterprising media students from all over the world.

Since it launched in 2007, the students and faculty of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change have contributed to research on a multitude of topics, from young people’s attachment and possible addiction to social media and their mobile phones, to the use of images during the Beijing and London Olympics. In 2014, their research had real world impact as the 71 students teamed up with the United Nations Development Program to help the UN agency address real-life challenges in advancing the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Led by Jennifer Colville, a policy advisor in the UNDP’s Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group (KICG), the students at the 2014 program, Civic Voices – Justice, Rights and Social Change, made proposals on how media can be used to address the challenges around youth unemployment and livelihoods, climate change, human rights, and corruption.

The emerging field of “gamification” – the use of games to raise awareness and engage citizens on a pressing development issue, build empathy among those who might have differing opinions, and ultimately change people’s behavior with regard to the issue – is one particular area in which UNDP’s KICG is developing a growing interest.

“UNDP is trying to be more innovative,” explains Colville [link to colville interview]. “One of the things we’re looking at is gamification. We’re also looking at a whole host of other things like behavioral science, foresighting, social innovation camps, labs, hubs, challenges… A key piece of the innovation agenda is the communications aspect of it. We’re trying to ‘work out loud’ or communicate more frequently throughout the entire process of development for a variety of reasons: so that more actors are aware of and become involved in the process, so that feedback can be heard as early on in the process as possible, and so that information and knowledge are shared more broadly across projects. Better communications can help us design and deliver more effective projects with our partners.”

As part of their more innovative approach, the UNDP hosts regular research and development (R&D) events, and it was through such an event that Colville and the UNDP became involved in the Salzburg Academy, thanks to the Emerson Engagement Lab, led by Salzburg Academy faculty member Eric Gordon at Emerson College, Boston, USA.

“Last year our regional [R&D] event in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (ECIS) was on behavioral science and gamification, and Eric, with the Emerson Engagement Lab, was invited to that. Then we had him come and speak to colleagues in New York and he started to work with a number of our country offices as well. And he said ‘We’ve got this [Academy] going – it would be great for you to come and give the development perspective!’” Colville explained.

The 2014 Academy’s group work builds on Gordon’s Ithiel de Sola Pool Endowed Lecture on the Impact of Communications Technology on Society and Politics at the 2013 Academy, in which Gordon laid out how, by playing-learning games such as 1990s school hit, Oregon Trail, and direct impact games like Darfur is Dying (where one must keep their refugee camp functioning in the face of possible attacks by Janjaweed militias), opportunities for learning and empathy can be realized in a much more accessible manner than by simply reading books or listening to lectures.

It is this sort of innovative thinking that Colville was looking to harness from the 2014 cohort of Salzburg Academy students. 

“There is a tendency to go towards the new kinds of media but one of the groups I was speaking to basically felt that even that was old hat. ‘An app is so 2013!’” laughed Colville. “And so that’s great because they want to push [innovation] even further, and that’s what we at UNDP hope to get from our interaction with young people. As we develop programs for young people, it’s really important for us to work with them to push boundaries.

“I think what it would be great to have from them is that out-of-the-box thinking. There is the new and the ‘out there’ thinking that I’m looking for – the different perspective they bring is invaluable,” she added.

Over three weeks, under guidance in-person from Colville and Gordon and via Skype from UNDP country offices around the world, students from 23 different countries developed Media Action Plans (MAPs) of a campaign, reporting tool or game to tackle real-world issues. 

The students’ solutions included: “DROPIT” – 

a website using GPS mapping to catalog water scarcity in Mexico; an Instagram campaign – #WEThiopia – to raise awareness about poor water access in Ethiopia; “i-Toil” (India To Overcome Immoral Labor) – an online petition calling for the implementation of legislation to protect domestic workers in India; “Youth Bridge” – a whistleblowing and teacher review app in Armenia to counter corruption in education; and “Raise The Roof” – an app offering advice on urban agriculture in Indonesia. 

The team behind the Moldovan proposal – the game “Bribe?” which offers Moldovan citizens a better understanding of the motivations behind corrupt teachers, students, and parents – was featured on the Voices from Eurasia blog by the United Nations Development Program in Europe and Central Asia. The game is now being further developed and designed by the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, led by Gordon.

Following the success of the 2014 partnership, the UNDP, together with the Red Cross, will be returning to work with the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change in the summer of 2015. 

Colville congratulated the 2014 students on their “inspiring and encouraging” work, adding, “I know [my colleagues] are very excited about looking at what some of these opportunities might be for their country offices.”

Colville and her colleagues might be turning to Millennials to help find solutions to the world’s development challenges, but that’s not to say that they are no longer listening to the older generation.

“The demographic shift is calling for a response and an engagement with youth – we cannot ignore it and we don’t want to ignore it,” says Colville. “But we’re not only engaging the youth; it’s part of a broader effort that the UNDP is trying to undertake with our international partners to reach out to a variety of voices that we haven’t traditionally heard from. It is about hearing all these different voices – that’s where this collision of ideas happens and where the great ideas can emerge.” 

Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle 2015 in full (PDF)
Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change Faculty Publish Book
Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change Faculty Publish Book
Salzburg Global Seminar 
It is hard to imagine an area of modern life that is not in some way influenced, impacted or interrupted by the ubiquity of digital media. We are living in a time of rapid change — times shaped and molded by the influence and intrusion of digital media into nearly every facet of life.  It is these rapidly changing times and how digital media has changed communities and people’s sense of belonging that is the subject of a new book Mediated Communities: Civic Voices, Empowerment and Belonging in the Digital Era.  The book is a cross-continental collaboration between ten members of the faculty of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, edited by three-time faculty member Moses Shumow, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University, USA. According to Shumow, the explosive growth of digital forms of communication in the past 20 years has fundamentally altered the way we interact with one another: how politicians engage with their constituents, teachers with their students, parents with their children. Digital communications have shifted the ways in which we are informed, educated and entertained, and the ways in which we advocate, agitate, organize, fall in love, bully and just connect.   It is from the concept of community that civil society emerges. Mediated Communities: Civic Voices, Empowerment and Belonging in the Digital Era explores how the ways that people now communicate have changed this idea of community.   Communitarians and others have long envisioned that close bonds of communal living will foster and encourage the concern for others — a concern that leads ultimately to civic engagement. In an effort to update this concept for our times, Mediated Communities presents new iterations of social spaces that create transformative avenues for civic action and empowerment in the digital era.  Drawing on a global cohort of academics, educators, and professionals, contributors to the book use the theoretical framework of media literacy as a heuristic tool to investigate how digital media are changing notions of community and belonging.  Contributors also trace the shifting role of the civic voice, in the midst of news forms of interconnectivity that are acting to both unite and fracture traditional social structures. 
The book is published by Peter Lang and available to purchase online. 
Editor: Moses Shumow, Assistant Professor School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Florida International University Authors:
  • Cornelia Bogen, Tsinghua University, China
  • May Farah, American University of Beruit, Lebanon
  • Megan Fromm, Independent Researcher, German
  • Roman Gerodimos, Bournemoth University, UK
  • Manuel Guerrero, Iberoamericana University, Mexico
  • Stephen Jukes, Bournemouth University, UK
  • Monica Lenguas, Iberoamericana University, Mexico
  • Paul Mihailidis, Emerson College, USA
  • Rosemary Nyaole-Kowuor, Daystar University, Kenya
  • Christian Schwartz, Pontífica Católica Universidad, Argentina
Re-envisioning Salzburg Global Seminar
Re-envisioning Salzburg Global Seminar
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Salzburg Global Seminar proudly presents its new periodical, The Salzburg Global Chronicle. Replacing the traditional annual President’s Report, the new publication “chronicles” Salzburg Global’s programs at Schloss Leopoldskron and around the world, including profiles on both “up-and-coming” leaders and high profile Salzburg Global Fellows, and features on the impact Salzburg Global Seminar, its programs, staff and Fellows have in the world beyond the Schloss.

Highlights include:

15 Faces for the Future  

Salzburg Global Seminar’s mission is to challenge current and future leaders to tackle problems of global concern. To this end, Salzburg Global brings young, emerging leaders to Schloss Leopoldskron, not only for our Academies programs, but for every Salzburg Global session. Nearly 500 of our 1844 Fellows who attended sessions between 2011 and 2013 were under the age of 40, in addition to the more than 800 Academies participants. Below are just 15 of our remarkable young Fellows.

The Power of Partnership 

Salzburg Global Seminar’s programs would not happen without our partners. Partners provide not only the intellectual capital and input to drive the session forward but often the much needed financial capital necessary to bring Fellows and faculty to Salzburg. But what do partners get out of working with Salzburg Global?

A Distinct History, a Universal Message  

For three days, at a palace once home to the local Nazi party leader, experts from across the globe considered the value of Holocaust education in a global context at a symposium hosted by Salzburg Global and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. They proved the Holocaust is more than just a European or Jewish experience.

Strength in Diversity 

LGBT rights are moving up the international agenda, and while progress is being made, at the same time some countries are passing increasingly regressive laws. In June 2013, Salzburg Global convened its first ever Salzburg Global LGBT Forum addressing LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps, starting a truly global conversation.

An Unlikely Constellation of Partners  

Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Appalachian College Association, member institutions of which serve predominantly white students, do not seem like the most obvious of partners. But this did not stop them from coming together to transform their schools into sites of global citizenship through the Salzburg Global Seminar-led, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Mellon Fellow Community Initiative.

Media Change Makers

Since helping to launch the program in 2007, Salzburg Global President Stephen L. Salyer has taken a hands-on role in the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: helping to devise the program, delivering lectures and mentoring students. This year, he met with student representatives from each region represented at the eighth annual program to find out how the Academy is helping shape them. The Chronicle is available online at and to download as a PDF and in our ISSUU Library    Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle as a PDF Print copies are available at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron and all upcoming Salzburg Global Seminar events and programs.
Anwar Akhtar: "The films in Pakistan Calling are manifestos for peace"
Anwar Akhtar: "The films in Pakistan Calling are manifestos for peace"
Jonathan Elbaz 
Pakistan is threatened by deep, systemic challenges, but not only by the ones you see on TV. Major networks repeatedly cover the Taliban and sectarian violence, yet fundamental issues like economic marginalization, the treatment of women, child labor and poor education are swept from the public’s view.
That’s why Salzburg Global Fellow Anwar Akhtar has committed himself to spotlighting Pakistan’s toughest challenges and bolstering organizations working to transform the country. He runs Pakistan Calling, an online project—in partnership with the UK’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA)—that shares films about pressing social issues and facilitates cooperation between people and organizations in Pakistan and the UK.
“A lot of the organizations we profile are often in crisis management,” Akhtar said. “If you’re running a disability charity in Karachi, or you’re running an orphanage or you’re a small cultural organization, you probably haven’t got a communications budget, an outreach budget or an international development officer.”
Pakistan Calling compiles films with a social message. Some films tell the stories of individuals like ambulance drivers (Driving Life) and impoverished street children (I am Agha), while others explore larger ideas of multiculturalism, identity politics and sustainable development. Most films are produced externally by NGOs or university students, and Pakistan Calling gathers their work in one location.
Akhtar said the project aims to engage and empower the huge Pakistani Diaspora in the UK and elsewhere. An estimated 7 million people with Pakistani heritage live outside the country, with 1.2 million in the UK alone. Akhtar hopes that after people watch some of the short films, they’ll be driven to volunteer, advocate on and offline, or donate to the organizations profiled.
“The Diasporas can be a force for conflict resolution,” Akhtar said. “There’s obviously the family and the religious and ancestry links. There’s obviously remittances, and lots of people sending small amount of money to help schools or an orphanage or a clean water project…We’re raising awareness of innovative social projects that people might consider sending money to or supporting.”
Akhtar attended a Salzburg Global session in April entitled “Conflict Transformation Through Culture,” returned for the eighth Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, and returned again for the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. He credits the organization for widening his perspective as a cultural change-maker and for connecting him to key journalists and advocates around the world.
“I’ve now got access to a network of U.S.-based journalists and documentary filmmakers that work around human rights, social development and cultural progress in Asia,” Akhtar said. “As a British-based organization working on a budget of about £40,000, we would not have had the budget to go to Washington and find those people. And yet we found them, on a 90-minute flight from London to Salzburg.”
Akhtar’s background is not in journalism. He grew up in Manchester, England, selling t-shirts and jumpers from his father’s stalls, directing an arts and culture center, and working as a club promoter, before he founded The Samosa website. Consequently, his extended discussions in Salzburg with Media Academy Faculty Susan Moeller and Sanjeev Chatterjee—who have extensive experience utilizing media for social change—were immensely influential on his work.
So far Pakistan Calling has been instrumental in building links between people, communities and institutions. The success of I Am Agha has led some UK organizations to commission more films about the life of street children. The project helped spark an ongoing partnership between film students in Karachi University and London Metropolitan University (which Akhtar considers a “mini Media Academy”). And the Ajoka Theater, an organization first profiled in a Pakistan Calling film, will debut a production at the National Theater in London in April.
“What the films have shown is that there’s absolutely a large element of Pakistani society desperate to improve society and just want to improve their living environment, educate their kids, have a career and a secure society and country,” Akhtar said. “By focusing on that, rather than the Taliban or religious violence, you might actually address the latter issues. The films in Pakistan Calling are all by their nature manifestos for peace.”
The success of the RSA Pakistan Calling project is driven by audience engagement and peer involvement. You can view and share the films via the link: You can read more about Pakistan Calling on the BBC, the New Statesman, the Huffington Post, the World Bank and the Guardian
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