The Salzburg Media School

The Salzburg Media School (SMS) is a global network of scholars, activists and transformative teachers working at the intersection of media literacies, transformative pedagogy and engagement in civic life. This initiative responds to a digital culture that has disrupted the core relationships between media, society, and participation in daily life. Large Scale digital platforms, while connect individuals and movements at scales never seen in the past, have also contributed to partisanship, polarization, and distrust across civic institutions.

This crisis of legitimacy knows no borders. In cities, urban coastal elites struggle to understand how and why the fabric of civil society is fraying. In rural parts of the world, increasing global inequality and the disruption of working class living wages has eroded core mechanisms for well being and livelihood. While this crisis of institutional legitimacy spans organizations across the world, media organizations are under particular pressure to maintain relevance, pursue dynamic storytelling, and to reach and impact communities. It is within this time of deep distrust, polarization, and crisis of legitimacy that media become both central facilitators for civic information and communication needs while also being subject to attacks by politicians and citizens who question the core fundamental objective of news and the role of legacy and alternative media in contemporary civic and political discourse.

It is within this current landscape that the Salzburg Media School exists. SMS brings together leading thinkers, teachers and activists to reimagine how media pedagogy, practice and research can embrace our current moment and define a new approach to social change through civic media literacies. SMS aspires to build capacity for pedagogy that is transformative, radical, and that approaches learning from a point of critical consciousness: to approach research not through the production of knowledge cut off from the world, but applied and situated in the communities it studies; and to think of media practice as intervention into traditional models of storytelling that desperately need to be re-imagined for the present day.

To activate these missions, SMS will pursue four specific objectives:

SMS was born from the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, a three week experimental laboratory that brings together aspiring media makers, practitioners, and the members of SMS. The Academy gathers each summer to connect young media innovators across disciplines to produce cutting-edge multimedia tools and inform curricula and research platforms. Founded in 2007, the Academy numbers over 830 alumni, 175 faculty, and 30 experts, from over 60 participating institutions worldwide.

In 2018, the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change will explore the challenges and opportunities journalists and news organizations face in digital culture.

Re-Imagining Journalism: News and Storytelling in an Age of Distrust

The 2018 program will critique existing infrastructures for reporting and experiment with new approaches to reporting and storytelling that combine rigor and engagement to combat the age of distrust.

To see the 2018 Salzburg Academy participants, please visit the SAC 12 site.

Previous Projects

Persist New Ideas in Journalism

New Ideas for Journalism in an Age of Distrust

Explore Persist
Reaction Playbook
Re:Action D.I.Y. Playbook

Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism

Explore Re:Action
Move playbook
MOVE Playbook

Move: Media, Migration, and the Civic Imagination

Explore Move

Network Participants

  • Sanjeev Chatterjee

    Professor, University of Miami School of Communication, USA

  • Jamie Cohen

    Assistant Professor & Program Director, New Media Program, Molloy College, USA

  • Meg Fromm

    Assistant Professor, Colorado Mesa University; Educational Initiatives Director, Journalism Education Association, USA

  • Roman Gerodimos

    Principal Academic in Global Current Affairs, Bournemouth University (UK), Greece

  • Maria Isabel Gil

    Managing Director, AURA, Mexico City, Mexico

  • Eric Gordon

    Associate Professor, Department of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College, USA

  • Manuel Guerrero Martinez

    Dean of Communication Studies, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico

  • Christopher Harris

    Associate Professor of Communication, Nevada State College, NV, USA

  • Anthony Ioannidis

    Usability & Corporate Training Expert, Founder of IAsquare, UK

  • Henry Jenkins

    Bailey Morris-Eck Lecture, Professor of Communication, University of Southern California, USA

  • Pablo Martinez Zarate

    Head Professor, Documentary Film & Digital Narrative, Iberoamericana University, Mexico

  • Jad Melki

    Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies, and Chairperson, Department of Communication Arts, Lebanese American University, Lebanon

  • Paul Mihailidis

    Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar; Associate Professor of Media Studies, School of Communication, Emerson College, USA

  • Susan Moeller

    Professor & Director, International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, University of Maryland, USA & Co-founder, Salzburg Academy

  • Stephen Reese

    Jesse H. Jones Professor of Journalism, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

  • Stephen Salyer

    President & Chief Executive Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar

  • Clare Shine

    Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar

  • Sangita Shresthova

    Research Director, Media Activism & Participatory Politics (MAPP) Project, University of Southern California, USA

  • Moses Shumow

    Assistant Professor of Journalism and Broadcasting, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Florida International University, USA

  • Clement So

    Associate Dean, Faculty of Social Science, Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong SAR

  • Ewald Volk

    Academic Director Media Management (BA), Department of Media and Economics, Head of Campus Radio, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences