16 recognized media experts will teach at the summer school

Valmiera (Latvia), July 24, 2008. – This year Baltic International Summer School will feature 16 lecturers from 8 countries, representing United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Finland, Poland, Estonia and Latvia. All of them are recognized speakers or media practitioners who will share their knowledge and competence on the summer school’s topic – “Communication. Integration. Technology.” with about 35 participants from all over the world during the summer school that will take place in Valmiera, Daugavpils (Latvia), Narva (Estonia) and Zarasai (Lithuania) from August 1-17, 2008.

This year’s focus of the summer school is twofold: the change of communication in the presence of new communication technologies and the use of new technologies to promote consolidation of society. The summer school will be both theoretical and practical. Students will have lectures and practical workshops where they will learn to use new tools to tell stories about various aspects of social integration.

Topics proposed by the speakers range from theoretical approaches of communication in intercultural contexts (Dr. Jyotika Ramaprasad, Dr. Sergejs Kruks, Dr. Liisa Salo-Lee) to more specific issues of citizen participation and media (Dr. Luca Moris, Dr. Renata Mienkowska, Dr. Amy Bruzgel, Emil Agazade, Dace Akule, Tanel Mazur, Anna Novicka, Iveta Šašoka). Program is also rich in practical workshops with the aim to teach how to use modern media technologies (led by Kristaps Pētersons, Jānis Garančs, Līga Gaisa, Ilze Arkliņa).

Besides lectures and workshops, participants will also have a chance to see several newspaper offices and meet with Latvian-, Estonian- and Russian-speaking editors and journalists in Narva, Daugavpils and Rīga. The goal of these visits is to examine how newspapers operate in cities with large national minority presence where more than one language is spoken. The participants should leave the summer school with a good understanding about what today’s communication is about and how to use it in a multicultural context.

During the summer school students will also have an opportunity to learn or refresh Latvian and Russian language skills as well as participate in extensive social program to learn about the life in the Baltics.

This year Vidzeme University received summer school applications from 137 motivated communication students, representing 34 countries. About 35 of them will be selected for participation. The overall coordination of the Baltic International Summer School is provided by Vidzeme University College but this year it is joined by two more co-organizers – Daugavpils University and Tartu University’s Narva College. Our friends and supporters this year are Latvian Ministry of Education and Science, Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U. S Embassy in Latvia, Valmiera City Council as well as private companies LETA Video, Diena, Latvian Mobile Telephone, Cēsu Alus, Valmieras Piens, Triāls and Hansabanka. In Daugavpils our partners are newspapers Latgales Laiks, Ekspress Nedelja and Seycas, in Narva – Narvsjkaja gazeta, Viru Prospekt and Narvskaja Nedelja.

Full summer school program and speaker biographies are attached to this release. More information about the event can be found at http://biss.va.lv.


Media contacts for extra information, interviews and visuals:
Kaspars Rūklis, Director of the Summer School – kaspars.ruklis@gmail.com, +371 2940-5048,
Dana Čaiņikova, Public Relations Coordinator – dana.cainikova@va.lv, +371 2934-1235