Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

Aug 05 2008

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change Day 8

Published by Knight on the Road under Conferences

August 5, 2008
Salzburg, Austria

By Walyce Almeida, Dana Janbek & Moses Shumow

Day 8

As day 8 opened, pressure was building for students to finish the rough drafts of the stories selected for their lesson plans.

The highlight of today was a speech by Dean Li Xiguang from Tsinghua University School of Journalism and Communication. In the context of the Beijing Olympics, he spoke of the human rights and the Tibetan issue hijacking media’s attention from the event. He went on to define the Olympics as primarily a global media event. Using examples pulled from the media in which geographical mistakes about the region were made, the dean emphasized the importance of journalism students being well versed in history and geography. Not all the blame was laid at the feet of Western media. He spoke of both Western and Chinese media only ‘hearing’ their own voices, meaning biases exist in both worlds. He said China’s main problem today seems to be its loss of soft power, mainly because of a loss of credibility in the Western media. Given the fact that all news is bias, one should expose oneself to as many sources, biases, as possible.

Dean Li Xiguang from Tsinghua University
School of Journalism and Communication

Dean Li Xiguang concluded his presentation with a compilation of semi-raw footage of riots in Tibet, with some very graphic images. This was his way of presenting what he characterized as a highly confidential un-constructed alternative portrayal of events as compared to what is usually seen in Western media.

This started a lively discussion about media biases that will surely continue beyond this evening.

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Aug 05 2008

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change Day 7

Published by Knight Center under Conferences

August 4, 2008, Salzburg, Austria

By Walyce Almeida, Dana Janbek & Moses Shumow

After the weekend, today we began work with our individual groups. The groups are working on developing curricula on global media literacy. The goal of the curricula is to help us understand media related to climate change, terrorism and the Beijing Olympics. Students and faculty from 15 different countries are working collaboratively to decide on stories, mainly from their respective countries, that will be used as case studies for each curriculum. For the next two weeks, we will be developing these lesson plans that will be available online upon completion.

At the end of the day, Evelyn Messinger and Kim Spencer spoke to us about Link TV and their programs Mosaic, Global Pulse, and Latin Pulse. Link TV is an effort to introduce US audiences to diverse international news from worldwide media sources. Coverage is available on a wide range of global issues. The programming can be seen via satellite, cable and the Web. Evelyn concluded her presentation by sharing their newest online tool, which allows registered users to ‘remix’ news clips from various sources to create their own version of the news story. Check out

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Jul 31 2008

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Day 4

Published by Knight on the Road under Conferences

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
July 31, 2008, Salzburg, Austria

BY Walyce Almeida, Dana Janbek & Moses Shumow

“One Water,” written, co-directed (with Ali Habashi), and produced by UM’s Sanjeev Chatterjee, was screened today, followed by a lively discussion that focused on what students, as journalists, can do to address the water problem.

The film obviously caught the students’ attention, who after the screening, visited, a campaign aimed at generating awareness through media creation. A number of students showed interest in either getting involved in the project, and/or screening the film in their respective universities.

At the end of the day, Jodi Torrent from the UN Alliance of Civilizations spoke of the organization and its mission of building intercultural bridges. The media part of the main Web site is a great resource on media literacy and relevant events. The site is available in English, Spanish and Arabic and some resources are available in multiple languages.

A student checks out during the Q&A session

A student checks out during the Q&A session

Click to watch video Simon “One Water”
A student reflects on how he thinks he can get involved in the project

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Jul 30 2008

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Day 3

Published by Knight on the Road under Conferences

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
July 30, 2008, Salzburg, Austria
Day 3

By Walyce Almeida, Dana Janbek & Moses Shumow

Suzan Moeller’s session today started on a motivational note. Margaret Mead was quoted saying “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world”. On a similar note, Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was quoted talking about ordinary people taking extraordinary actions to change the world.

The highlight of today’s sessions was undoubtedly the screening of “The People’s Republic of Capitalism- from Mao-ism to Me-ism” narrated by Ted Koppel (a description of the series can be found here, a New York Times review can be found here). Through the eyes of Chinese youth and adults, some leaving rural China seeking work opportunities in the city, the film highlights China’s changing traditions. These include attitudes toward Western fashion, homosexuality, and the sex industry among others. Director James Blue answered tough questions by the students on the ethics of revealing the identities of these youth, some under 18, who were working at the brothels, karaoke bars, and other entertainment venues. The discussions spilled into other location well into the night. This spirit of dialogue will be a strong basis of our work here at the academy.

Click to watch video: Stephen Salyer

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Jul 29 2008

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Day 2

Published by Knight on the Road under Conferences

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
July 29, 2008, Salzburg, Austria
Day 2

By Walyce Almeida, Dana Janbek & Moses Shumow

The official program launched today with 59 students, from 15 countries in 5 continents, representing 12 institutions. Academy Co-directors Suzan Moeller and Jochen Fried as well as President and CEO of the Salzburg Seminar Stephen L. Salyer welcomed the group (biographies are available at The president projected his expectations of the students at the end of the three weeks. He hopes that students will:

1- recognize a growing sense of media literacy

2- feel that they are better prepared to influence for change

3- feel that their network has expanded

4- feel that their leadership skills have been enhanced

Fried said that the practical purpose of the academy is to create a “student-driven global media literacy curriculum”. We all look forward to lively discussions, collaborative learning, and a dynamic environment to encourage communication across borders.

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Jul 29 2008

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Day 1

Published by Knight on the Road under Conferences

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
July 28, 2008, Salzburg, Austria

By Walyce Almeida, Dana Janbek & Moses Shumow

We arrived a day early to the Schloss Leopoldskron. Sanjeev and Moses immediately got to work by attending a meeting on a video project documenting the academy’s work. The three themes are freedom of expression, media coverage of climate change, and media coverage of the Beijing Olympics. James Blue, who works for the Koppel Group at the Discovery Channel, is producing the videos.

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Jun 12 2008

Sanjeev on the Road - MIT

Published by Knight on the Road under Conferences

Knight News Challenge Winners Conference

By Sanjeev Chatterjee on the Road

Center for Future Civic Media

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
June 11, 2008


Panelists (from L to R) Jay Rosen, Henry Jenkins, Dan Gillmor and Lisa Williams

Today I attended the opening session of the Knight News Challenge Winners Conference being held at the Center for Future Civic Media at M.I.T. The conference opened with remarks from Ellen Hume who serves as Research Director at the Center, followed by brief comments by Knight Foundation President and C.E.O. Alberto Ibarguen and Center for Future Civic Media Co-Director Chris Csikszentmihalyi.

The opening roundtable, moderated by Henry Jenkins, one of three co-directors of the Center, focused on the Future of Civic Media. The other participants were Jay Rosen from N.Y.U, Lisa Williams of Placeblogger and Dan Gillmor from the Knight-Kauffman Center. While the discussion focused on technology and civic engagement, it was quite refreshing to find the drift of the conversation to be about the primacy of engagement and not technology.

Although the session was not designed for direct participation in the conversation, technology was constantly used to allow the audience to pose questions and push them into the discussion using a new platform developed at M.I.T. called Several attendees were Twittering from the session and a compilation can be found if you search #futurecivic on

Henry Jenkins’ opening remarks drew in the crowd convincingly. He talked about how the use of technology in civic engagement was not only about information transmission but also about creating a collective identity. Jenkins is interested in provoking people to think about the future civic media in new ways.

Jay Rosen spoke about the age-old role of journalism as a way to open up the political system for participation by plenty of people.

Lisa Williams brought in the fact that while technology helps brilliant reporting, good reporting often gets stumped by good spin that uses the same technology to counter the impact of powerful stories.

Gillmor spoke about the rapid evolution of news and the necessity of looking at the news the audience’s personal connection to the news.

The panel concluded that ultimately, engaging civic media was a challenge of creating a “citizen’s assignment desk,” and to be successful there needed to be a sense of connection and passion to the larger narrative or strong cause for which people are willing to expand their efforts to do the small jobs required to complete and sustain civic engagement online. The panel also determined that while ownership of any civic engagement by all participants was extremely important, too often content generators for civic causes often felt exploited and discontinued their participation.

Referring to a quote by John Dewey, Rosen said we have shared problems and one can attempt to solve these problems by either reporting them to superiors or by trying to address the problems personally. He felt that we were at a point in time when politically “we are in a curve of rising participation.”

While Gillmor appreciates the investments made by granting agencies like the Knight Foundation in supporting civic media, he pointed out that the amounts being invested in the civic domain might be similar perhaps to the rounding errors in the commercial realm of venture capitalists. However, he said, the good news is that highly motivated young people all over the world seem to have the required passion to experiment with civic media and engagement.

Following the roundtable attendees had a chance to mill around and have a fairly informal dinner together. This was also an occasion to try out the electronic nametags for the conference designed by nTags. The tags are capable of communication with each other and are a convenient way of exchanging information, conducting polls, taking notes and more.

Following dinner, many civic media projects currently underway at M.I.T. were on display, presented by graduate students who developed them. Projects included ways to map social media networks and analyze the use of keywords to using technology to empower communities being exploited by companies that buy mineral rights from under them. Other projects on display help create telephone and web based communities for youth and another one that triangulates technology, storytelling and civic engagement to create empathy.

Attendees milling around the project presentations by graduate students

Today’s activities highlighted the challenge of harnessing the power of technology for civic engagement. Here at the Center for Future Civic Media the focus is on the social and cultural aspects of the problem that are being addressed through technological experimentation.

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