SAC 10


The 2016 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change explored the role of media literacy in engaging citizens, journalists, governmental bodies and capacity organizations in cross-cultural dialogue about migration and its portrayal in contemporary digital culture. In light of the recent humanitarian crisis in Syria, and its impact in communities across the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe, and the United States, migration presents a current, timely and relevant point of exploration for how media frame issues, set public agendas, and engage in cultural meaning-making across borders, regions, and other divides. At the same time, citizens across regions are using connective platforms, social networks and digital technologies to consume, produce, express and share information in ever more open, diverse, and collaborative ways. Media literacy thus becomes central to how citizens demand diverse and balanced media coverage of issues, create and share their own narratives about issues of importance to them, and interact with policy makers and government officials about how such issues impact contemporary society. The topic of migration incorporates a host of cultural narratives (including religious affiliation, racial and ethnic diversity, and inclusivity as normative) that are increasingly being negotiated by the media and citizens in mediated spaces.

Key questions addressed by students in summer 2016 included:

  • How can media to facilitate shared dialog and meaningful social action to support positive change across borders, across cultures, and across divides?
  • What is the role of multimodal storytelling in promoting positive social and civic impact in the world? 
  • What are the barriers to global connectivity and what are the factors that perpetuate these factors?
  • How can young activists use their public narratives to help bridge cultural, social and cultural divides? 
  • What are the core attributes need to build and sustain global networks that can facilitate media for positive global change?

Program Format

This summer brought together 70 students, over 15 faculty members and additional guest speakers from over 15 institutions around the world, and represented 25 nationalities. Together, they explored the resources that individuals, and journalists use to participate in civic life, and the processes, technologies, practices and negotiations that emerge from such engagement. Through in-depth exploration of migration, human rights, and global culture, the Salzburg Academy produced media literacy case studies and action plans that use the topic of migration and global uncertainty to frame our work. In addition to traditional lectures, the Salzburg Academy also embraced participatory action research, multimedia storytelling, and roundtable seminar sessions.

Contact for Inquiries

Do not hesitate to contact Beth Pertiller with any questions you may have at