Event Reports

Start of the new training series "Adenauer Media Online Training"

by Ivanina Georgieva
The launch of our new training series "Adenauer Media Online Training" took place on August 27th.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we decided to expand some of our activities in the online sphere. The new provided series aim to offer journalists and media professionals in South East Europe but also beyond its borders, online training courses with different focal points.

In our first edition of the Adenauer Media Online Training "Media Literacy & Content Verification" Tatjana Ljubic and Stefan Janjic from Serbia presented different digital forensic methods, tips and tools for online verification and and took a closer look at journalists ‘own information habits and emotional resilience.

The online training was divided into three units. The first one outlined the personal media consumption and awareness about own media habits as well as the emotional aspects that impact our decision-making process.

Linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a huge challenge for the media and for media professionals, journalists are more than ever in need of reliable and fact-based information. In the second unit the trainers indicated to the oversaturation of the information environment and the resulting “infodemic”. They presented a set of steps to evaluate own information flows and skills to recognise disinformation as well as methods to discern different shades of dis-and misinformation.

Tools for verification as Quetext, Diffchecker, Wayback machine but also Google Maps or Yandex Maps were presented as especially in the online sphere information circulates in various forms (statistics, memes, infographics, statements, and even conspiracy theories).

The most common manipulations and disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic were depicted with the help of infographics that navigated the participants through different manipulation types. However also common mistakes in verification and possibilities how to avoid them were highlighted with additional examples.

The final part covered the most common types of photo manipulations. Stefan Janjic introduced a list of basic and advanced photo-checking tools that are available online and can help to cover up photo manipulations, real but falsely misleading photos as well as photos that have been altered and cropped, aiming to change the context of a story.

The general appeal was to promote a more critical approach to all kind of content and to be more attentive especially in times of “infodemic” and disinformation.

The majority of the participants stated that they were able to gain value for their professional careers from the content of the training and that they will apply the acquired knowledge regularly in their everyday work in future.