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Rewatch the 2020 Conference - Scholarly Insights

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Citizen-generated Fact-checking Platforms: Outgrowing failing Media Infrastructures

The coronavirus pandemic in Chile included an assault by fake news on social networks. The disinformation came not only from faceless bots but from the government. In this environment a variety of grassroots journalistic projects emerged, from the efforts of reporters and other media professionals working outside traditional news organizations. Through an analysis of two digital projects, ChileRegistra and FastCheck, this session explores how citizen reporters mobilized to create transparency devices that called on traditional media to react properly against disinformation. How did these new projects operate? What can be gathered from them about the Chilean media landscape? Can open data generated by civil society counter disinformation?

Speaker: Tomás Dodds, Lecturer, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Moderator: Christian Christensen, Professor of Journalism, Stockholm University, Sweden

Journalism and Social Justice: A Reform Agenda

Objectivity has been the goal in U.S. journalism for about a hundred years, but now its normative aspirations have increasingly come into question. With interactive channels of communication and more populist political environments, journalists have lost their privileged vantage point as arbiters of truth. In the United States and beyond, the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened public awareness to blind spots in objective information. This presentation explores the role of social justice in current journalism, highlighting how journalists can reconcile their quest for truth with acknowledging calls for social justice and as a result strengthen their trustworthiness, accountability, and transparency. How is social justice constructed in journalism? What are some of the attempts to reform the current discourse? What ethical considerations should journalists make? This presentation will provide answers based on textual analysis of major trade publications.

Speaker: Thomas R. Schmidt, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego, USA/Austria

Moderator: Christian Christensen, Professor of Journalism, Stockholm University, Sweden

Constructive Journalism in Greece: Weathering Many Storms

Years of social turbulence have eroded trust in the news media and public institutions in Greece. Greeks increasingly turn to social media and other online sources for news and have some of the highest levels of online news consumption in the West. Within this context, Orthos Logos entered the picture in early 2019. Greece’s first solutions journalism startup, Orthos Logos operates on a subscription-based model, aims to reduce polarization in society, and provides evidence-based journalism. Can such a publication succeed? What do the first two years of its existence demonstrate? How can a startup with limited funding weather storms such as the pandemic and economic recession? This presentation charts possible answers.

Speaker: Michael Nevradakis, Communication Instructor, Deree-The American College of Greece, Greece

Moderator: Christian Christensen, Professor of Journalism, Stockholm University, Sweden

The Importance of Digital Media in Local Public Space Crisis Management

This presentation explores the potential of digital media in COVID-19 crisis management in different democratic systems. Through comparative analysis of information management during the pandemic in Poland, the UK, and Italy we examine how digital media influence strategic communication management in local public spaces. What are the pros and cons of information distributed through digital platforms by both media and public institutions in crisis? This running research provides answers through analysis of the media, social networks, and interviews.

Speaker: Ilona Biernacka-Ligieza, Professor, Marie Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland Moderator: Tony Curzon Price, Economist, Editor, Entrepreneur, United Kingdom


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