Terrace of Schloss Leopoldskron.

Cox Center Director Observes Salzburg Seminar On Migration and Related Issues in Europe

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker got a first-hand look at the format and operation of the Salzburg Seminar in June when he served as an observer at a session on "Migration, Race and Ethnicity in Europe."

Dr. Becker attended the session as part of an evaluation the Cox Center is conducting under a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The evaluation is focusing on the impact of the Salzburg Seminar on U.S. journalists who participate. The Knight Foundation pays full tuition, accommodations and round-trip travel to Salzburg, Austria, for selected U.S. journalists.

The Center is interviewing the 26 U.S. journalists and three U.S. journalism educators who participated in the Salzburg Seminar with Knight Foundation support from August of 2001 to October of 2002. The Center also is interviewing editors to whom the journalists report and examining examples of stories the journalists wrote once they returned from the Seminar.

The Salzburg Seminar is an international educational center committed to global understanding through a broadening of the perspectives of leaders from throughout the world. During the year, participants gather in Schloss Leopoldskron, an 18th Century palace on a small lake near Salzburg, for lectures and discussions on a wide range of topics.

In the session on migration, 51 educators, governmental leaders, researchers at private organizations and three journalists-two from the U.S. supported by the Knight Foundation-- listened to lectures, held open discussions with the speakers, broke into working groups, and engaged in informal conversation over meals and in social settings. The fellows came from 28 different countries. Africa, Asia, Europe and North America were represented.

"The seminar program is truly built around the facilities of the castle and its accompanying buildings and gardens," Dr. Becker said. "Participants are able to use that space to interact and reflect on the seminar topic."

Located in the basement of the castle is a Bierstube, or small beer room, and participants in the seminar on migration met there and on the terrace of the Leopoldskron castle itself late into the night for relaxation and discussion that helped bring the group together. The group also listened to a concert in the Great Hall of Schloss Leopoldskron.

The importance of the physical setting to the Salzburg Seminar also was noted in an evaluation of the very first seminar, held in 1947, by famed U.S. Anthropologist Margaret Mead, who was one of the faculty members leading the discussions. Her evaluation recently was republished in The American Journal of Evaluation, along with a short history of the Seminar.

The session on migration was led by Dominique Moisi, deputy director of the French Institute of International Affairs and a regular columnist for The Financial Times. Other faculty came from Britain, Denmark, Egypt, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Turkey.

In addition to the evaluation of the Salzburg Seminar, the Cox Center is conducting an evaluation of the Knight Public Health Journalism Fellowships at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The Center completed and evaluation of the Knight International Press Fellowship program in 1999.

The James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, located in Miami, is dedicated to improving journalism worldwide and investing in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.