Voices Against Extremism - Media Responses to Global Populism




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Jul 16, 2017
by Aceel Kibbi
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Voices Against Extremism - Media Responses to Global Populism

More than 80 students hailing from five different continents come together for a three-week session to create civic media for social change Students and faculty from the 2016 Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

Economic and social disorder have long proven to be key factors affecting the rise and decline of populism. Today, populism growing stronger in several countries such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland. Populist leaders are using their power to actively subvert the freedom of the press, threatening journalists and hindering free speech. This summer, over 80 students will fly from 10 countries and participate in the Salzburg Global session, Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism to explore how the media - in all its forms - can stem this tide. 

The session is part of the Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change, an annual three-week program that brings together students from diverse academic backgrounds and nationalities to explore the intersection of students’ own experiences, their understanding of the media and how it can be used to address pressing global concerns.

During the Salzburg Academy’s 11th session, participants will reflect on the media’s coverage of global populism, and analyze how the media is contributing towards it - and by harnessed to positively respond. Led by over 30 faculty and guest speakers, students will participate in a series of plenary sessions, reading groups, screenings and civic media workshops to create collaborative multimedia projects that aim to bridge divides, challenge global misconceptions and overcome intolerance. To bolster their creativity, participants will also be exposed to a diverse range of topics from documentary filmmaking, game design, data visualization, multi-platform storytelling and civic media activism.

The Salzburg Academy will use this strategy to discuss personal narratives, discover how they connect, and harness the power of this connection to re-imagine public media narratives. Students from Emerson College, University of Argentina, Bournemouth University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Iberoamericana University, Lebanese American University, and other academic institutions will be guided by leading media practitioners, including Robin Wright from The New Yorker, Florian Scholochow, the founder and CEO of Mohemian and Brian Hanley from Internews.

The Salzburg Academy celebrated its 10th anniversary last year in 2016. The session tackled the topic of migration and explored its portrayal in public media and digital culture. Students collaborated on dynamic multi-media essays that explored diverse and creative ways of connecting human migration stories in hopes of educating media consumers on the social, cultural and political impacts of global migration. Stories were published on “MOVE”, a publication created by faculty and students of the 2016 Salzburg Academy.

Seventy years ago this summer, 97 exceptional young men and women gathered for Salzburg Global Seminar’s first session to examine America and heal war-time wounds after World War II. This year, the Salzburg Academy students will be meeting at the same time to stand in the face of extremism, proving that Salzburg Global’s mission to challenge current and future leaders remains just as true and important today.

Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long running multi-year program Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. More information on the session can be found here: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/go/mediaacademy2017. You can also follow all the discussions on Twitter and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSmedia.