Fighting Disinformation and Fake News

Short course

The advent of the internet and social media has completely changed the way people create, consume and spread information online. Whereas before only a few powerful people were in control of what the rest of us would be able to watch and read, nowadays anyone with a simple device and a fair internet connection can create any kind of content and spread information on social media platforms. 

This situation raises a lot of questions in terms of privacy, copyrights, freedom of expression, ideological manipulation, and so on. In this digital environment where news can be easily created and spread, disinformation and fake news have become a major problem in modern times, causing harm to both people and institutions, and posing a serious threat to democracies all over the world.

In this Media Literacy Programme, students will be provoked into thinking about these and other questions related to digital media literacy. We are going to explore the main features of the current online environment, discussing how they influence the way we think and behave. We will also get participants to analyse news, play games, create digital artefacts and reflect on some of the main techniques used by fake news’ creators to draw our attention and spread disinformation. Finally, we will explore some simple and useful ideas that can lead to a more meaningful and safe digital life.

The Programme comprises 4 workshops that may be delivered in 4 consecutive days or, alternatively, in 4 consecutive weeks (1 workshop per week). 

Hours: 16 (4 hours each workshop)

Number of participants: Min. 12 / Max. 24

Fee: please contact us here for pricing and availability

Workshop 1

A world made of stories

Digital media that students will create: Movie

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss and reflect on the idea that our reality is made of stories – both real and fictional ones;
  • Understand that all media stories are constructed, and for this reason they are never the pure representation of reality;
  • Understand that people may experience the same story in completely different ways;
  • Develop basic filmmaking skills.

Workshop 2

Information Literacy

Digital media that students will create: Website

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Make sense of the difference between information and knowledge, and between facts and interpretation;
  • Understand that the better the quality of the information they consume, the better they will be able to make sense of the world around them;
  • Research, find, evaluate and use online information appropriately.
  • Improve their communicative, semiotic and design skills to create a website.

Workshop 3

Do we live in a bubble?

Digital media that students will create: TV Ad

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Analyse their own bias and personal preferences when producing and consuming media messages;
  • Develop awareness about the limitations of the communication process, especially the ones related to accessing and interpreting reliable and diverse information;
  • Understand how fake news are created and spread;
  • Create a TV Ad and apply basic techniques used in the advertising industry.

Workshop 4

Visual Storytelling

Digital media that students will create: Digital Poster

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply the most common techniques used to manipulate images;
  • Analyse the use of manipulated pictures in journalism, social media, advertising, propaganda etc. 
  • Understand how visual communication works in comparison with other modes of communication;
  • Apply basic editing skills to create a visual poster.

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