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Summer Seminar Aims To Start World-Wide Revolution in Media Education

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  • fbaker1346@aol.com
    _http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/532977/?sc=rsln_ (http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/532977/?sc=rsln) Newswise — Fifty-two students from five
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2007

      Newswise — Fifty-two students from five continents came together this month
      at the home of the Salzburg Global Seminar to start a world-wide revolution
      in media education. The students, all selected to be in the first class of the
      Salzburg Academy Program on Media and Global Change, created a dynamic
      online-based curriculum like nothing ever before taught. The attending faculty and
      deans from a dozen different universities around the globe have committed to
      teach the academic modules back at their home institutions.
      The student-created curriculum, titled “Global Media Literacy,” is focused
      on skills and outcomes not typically associated with traditional and elite
      academic universities: the course is intended not just to create better educated
      and more informed students, but to foster student engagement in the world.
      The course emphasizes five key elements of global citizenship: access to
      media, awareness of media’s power, assessment of how media cover international
      events and issues, appreciation for the role media play in creating civil
      societies, and action to encourage better communication across cultural, social and
      political divides.
      “What’s transformative,” noted Professor Susan Moeller, “is that starting
      this coming year, universities in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and
      the Americas will all be using the same curriculum to teach their students to
      ask some of the most critical questions that citizens can ask: ‘How do the
      news media affect our understanding of ourselves, our societies, our politics?’ ‘
      How can we use media to better cover global problems and to more
      comprehensively report on possible solutions?’” Moeller, the director of the
      International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of
      Maryland, is the lead faculty member of the Salzburg Academy.
      The Academy students, who hold passports from 14 countries—including the USA
      and China, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and South Africa,
      Argentina and Pakistan—ranged in age from 19 to 33 and from undergraduate to PhD
      level. Faculty and deans from a dozen different universities around the world
      oversaw the program, giving lectures and acting as mentors to small teams of
      “While Media Literacy has been gaining strength as an academic discipline in
      Europe, Asia and the United States for the last several years, this is
      probably the first time that universities around the world have jointly built a
      Media Literacy curriculum,” said Dr. Jochen Fried, the director of Education
      Initiatives at the Salzburg Global Seminar and co-director of the Academy. “The
      course is entirely global and comparative in scope, and intended to create
      students who are both critical of media’s manipulative influence and empowered
      to use media to effect positive change.”
      In addition to creating an online curriculum and resource materials on Global
      Media Literacy, the students also looked at two key issues—Terrorism and
      Climate Change—and built 10 web-based modules that consider how global media
      cover these subjects. How do media report on terrorism—what are the
      under-reported terrorism stories, locally, regionally, globally? How do media cover
      Climate Change—as a scientific story, an economic challenge or a political
      The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change is a new initiative of ICMPA
      at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and of
      the Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent, non-governmental organization
      that for 60 years has convened imaginative thinkers from different cultures and
      institutions to solve issues of global concern.
      The three-week Academy program was designed to bring together top
      undergraduate and graduate students from around the world with a global faculty to
      study and live at the Seminar’s home, the world-renowned Schloss Leopoldskron,
      celebrated as an historic center of scholarship—as well as the movie “home” of
      the Von Trapp family in “The Sound of Music.”
      The students and faculty who together speak 16 different languages
      (Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian,
      Kiswahili, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Swedish, Urdu) both conducted their
      discussions in English and built the draft university curriculum in English.
      Plans are underway to complete the editing of the online modules this fall, to
      translate core portions of the curriculum into Chinese and Spanish and to
      develop resource materials in a number of the home languages of the attendees.
      “The new perspectives and tools developed at the Salzburg Academy are going
      back home with the participants,” said Stephen Salyer, the President and CEO
      of the Salzburg Global Seminar. “Already this summer’s students who came from
      the four corners of the earth are setting in motion ideas and projects that
      will reverberate for decades to come. Like the first Salzburg Summer School
      in 1947 whose participants came literally from the opposing sides of World War
      II, today’s Academy became a place where students from very different
      cultures could talk about shared goals, respect each other’s differences, find
      common solutions, and take responsibility for forging a better world.”
      On July 29, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy gave the opening
      address of the Salzburg Academy to students, faculty and invited guests. “Judges
      and journalists play critical and parallel roles in securing freedom,” he
      declared. “They both are people who know the value and power of the ‘word.’”
      Maestro Daniel Barenboim gave the closing remarks of the Academy session on
      the evening of August 18. “It is high time we learn the narrative of the other,
      ” said Barenboim, the Argentinean-born Israeli conductor of the West-Eastern
      Divan Orchestra. You and we are a model for others, he told the rapt
      audience. “In music you don’t express just yourself, you listen to others and are
      an accompaniment to them.” Barenboim, who left a rehearsal for the orchestra’
      s Salzburg debut to speak to the Academy students, had founded the orchestra
      with the late Edward Said to promote dialogue among young musicians from
      Israel, the Palestinian territories and Arab countries throughout the Middle
      The three weeks of the Academy session overlapped with the famed Salzburg
      Music Festival and students also had the opportunity to interact with the
      Salzburg Global Seminar’s two writers in residence for this summer: Jeffrey
      Eugenides (who won the Pulitzer for Middlesex) and Richard Ford (who won the
      Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner award for Independence Day). Others who made guest
      appearances in front of the students during the Academy session included famed
      British publisher George Weidenfeld and Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner.
      Students and faculty attending the Academy came from the following
      universities: American University in Sharjah (UAE), Beijing Foreign Studies University
      (China), Bournemouth University (UK), George Washington University (USA),
      Michigan State University (USA), Pontificia Universidad Catolica (Argentina),
      Pontificia Universidad Catolica (Chile), Quaid-i-Azam Univeristy (Pakistan),
      Stellenbosch University (South Africa), Tsinghua University (China),
      Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico), University of Maryland, College Park (USA),
      University of Texas, Austin (USA) and Zayed University (UAE).
      A generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation made it
      possible for the Latin American institutions to attend the Academy program.
      For more specifics on the program, the students and the curriculum, please
      _http://www.salzburg.umd.edu/_ (http://www.salzburg.umd.edu/)

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