- MOOC coordinators Manuel Gértrudix Barrio & Rubén Arcos Martín
- Content written by Rubén Arcos Martín & Irena Chiru
- Multimedia design by Alejandro Carbonell Alcocer
- Visual Identity by Juan Romero Luis
The section has employed active learning methods for addressing the key topics of the course.
It started by taking a deeper look into the differences between hard news reporting, interpretive journalism and opinion. In our era of overwhelming “communicative abundance” (Keane 2013) content is produced, reproduced, and shared in an unprecedent scale within a complex system of offline and online social communication networks in which verified information, analyses, and opinions circulate and co-exist with misinformation, propaganda, disinformation, and strategically leaked information; quality and accountable journalism acquires a critical importance for our democracies in the digital communication and disinformation era.
With its remarkable advantages, the Internet and social media, as highlighted in the section, also can be a channel for covert information influencing activities and manipulative interference, though disinformation campaigns that might employ audiovisual forgeries. Although the manipulation of images, motion pictures, and fabrication of forgeries are nothing new, Artificial Intelligence and deep learning can be used to create deepfakes to be used for different malicious purposes. The section has provided awareness on these new developments and tips for identifying deepfakes but recognizing that further developments in deepfake technology and generative medias (images, sounds, text, video) will make the users dependent as well on AI and technology for the detection of these forgeries.
Last but not least, the section has facilitated knowledge on the use of conspiracy theories and disinformation in the context of crises like the coronavirus outbreak by malicious actors, by putting participants in the role of a strategic communication practitioner tackling with the problem.
Overall, the section has put the participant in the role of journalists, analysts, and strategic communicators aiming to gain an interdisciplinary perspective and mutual understanding on the importance of the interconnection between all these practitioners, and developing the resilience of our societies through critical thinking and media literacy, for tackling the security threats of the disinformation era.