This new publication by UNESCO is a timely resource and highly topical subject for all those who practice or teach journalism in this Digital Age.
Developments in the last few years have placed journalism under fire. A range of factors are transforming the communications landscape, raising questions about the quality, impact and credibility of journalism. At the same time, orchestrated campaigns are spreading untruths - disinformation, mal-information and misinformation - that are often unwittingly shared on social media:
Disinformation: Information that is false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organisation or country
Misinformation: Information that is false but not created with the intention of causing harm
Mal-information: Information that is based on reality, used to inflict harm on a person, social group, organisation or country.
Written by experts in the fight against disinformation, this handbook explores the very nature of journalism with modules on why trust matters; thinking critically about how digital technology and social platforms are conduits of the information disorder; fighting back against disinformation and misinformation through media and information literacy; fact-checking 101; social media verification and combatting online abuse.
This model curriculum is an essential addition to teaching syllabi for all journalism educators, as well as practicing journalists and editors who are interested in information, how we share it and how we use it. It is mission critical that those who practice journalism understand and report on the new threats to trusted information. Political parties, health professionals, business people, scientists, election monitors and others will also find it useful.
For background information on this publication, click here.
To explore the history of the information disorder, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has published a learning module, A Short Guide to the History of 'Fake News' and Disinformation, which journalism educators may find as a helpful addition to the UNESCO handbook. Click here(link is external) for more information.