Lucio Mesquita Filho - "We Are Living Through Brilliant and Exciting Times When It Comes to Media and Journalism"




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Jul 28, 2015
by Rachitaa Gupta
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Lucio Mesquita Filho - "We Are Living Through Brilliant and Exciting Times When It Comes to Media and Journalism"

Director of BBC Monitoring, delivers Ithiel De Sola Pool Lecture during Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change Lucio Mesquita Filho delivering Ithiel De Sola Pool Lecture during Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

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.