The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford are pleased to announce the 21st annual Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute, to be held from August 4 to August 17, 2019 at the University of Oxford.
About the Theme
The 2019 Summer Institute will focus on the theme of Technology & Policy at the Margins.
The internet and other new technologies are rapidly and irreversibly changing global media environments presenting enormous challenges for building policies that both understand the scope of new technologies like artificial intelligence, biometrics, and social media, and can adequately protect the rights of the media and people using them. With the arrival of Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation and social media giants like Facebook and Google being brought to testify before Congress in the Unites States, the last year has shown just how urgent it is to make sense of how our online media lives should and should not be governed.
While understanding this changing technology and media landscape is vital in any context, it raises particularly pressing issues for vulnerable populations living “at the margins”. Many, like refugees, Internally Displaced People, those living through conflict, under threat of attack, or under an internet shutdown often lack the ability to advocate for their digital rights or live under regimes that dismiss those rights in part or entirely. With this in mind, this year’s Summer Institute will focus on five key themes through which we will explore many of these challenges to policy and practice, with a particular focus on their effect on populations “at the margins” broadly understood. The five themes are:
- Extreme speech online
- Biometric technology in vulnerable populations
- Innovative efforts to connect the unconnected
- Algorithmic bias and inequality
- Internet shutdowns
By choosing these themes, we aim to explore issues such as online censorship, social media content regulation, net neutrality, surveillance and security, the spread of disinformation online, and the relationship between technology and democratic participation – amongst others. Participants will leave with a thorough understanding of how these issues influence, and are influenced by, laws and regulations governing the media and communication technologies in diverse contexts and jurisdictions.
About the Institute
For twenty years, the Institute has brought together top early career communications scholars, media lawyers and regulators, human rights activists, and policymakers from countries around the world to discuss the effects of technology, media, and policy from a global and multidisciplinary perspective. The Summer Institute provides participants with an intensive two week curriculum that combines expert instruction from media policymakers and scholars with hands-on activities such as stakeholder mapping, policy analysis, group case studies, and participant presentations.
The Institute endeavors to broaden and expand the pool of talented young scholars engaged in media studies and to connect these individuals to elite scholars and practitioners from around the world. The main goals of the program are to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and build spaces for collaboration between scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. The Institute’s alumni are a vibrant group who continue to engage in the program, collaborate through network ties, and have become leaders at the top national and international nonprofits, advocacy organizations, government agencies, corporations, and academic institutions. Past institutes have included participants from India, Kenya, Brazil, the Philippines, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, China, Italy, Israel, Colombia, Iran, Myanmar, South Sudan, Nigeria, and many other countries.
How to Apply
Applications for the 2019 Media Policy Summer Institute are open! APPLY here.
The deadline for early decision acceptance is March 19, 2019, and the final deadline for all applications is April 20, 2019. Admission to this program is highly competitive. On average, we have approximately 400 applicants for just 30 places. At the same time, we proactively work to ensure that those selected come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. To that end, we work with sponsoring partners to offer scholarships to a very select number of participants who would otherwise be unable to attend.