Media & information literacy and fact-checking
Academic research into the effectiveness of donor and foundation-supported media & information literacy and fact-checking programmes that address disinformation.
This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.
Please note that this resource page focuses on the effectiveness of donor and foundation-supported programmes responding to disinformation.

Routledge- MELISSA TULLY, DANI MADRID-MORALES, HERMAN WASSERMAN, GREGORY GONDWE, KIOKO IRERI

“While research on misinformation in Africa has increased in recent years, and despite a growing body of theoretical and empirical work that considers the role of governments, platforms, and users in stopping misinformation globally, there is still a lack of empirical research addressing ways to curb its spread on the continent. Research has coalesced around the idea that no single approach will work in all contexts, and effective strategies need to include media literacy, fact-checking, changes in how news is produced and circulated, government oversight, and regulations as well as responses that take local contexts into account. [...] Findings suggest that participants perceive misinformation as a problem if it has real or potential negative consequences and express a sense of shared responsibility among individuals and institutions for stopping the spread of misinformation.”

Routledge- ANNA STAENDER, EDDA HUMPRECHT, FRANK ESSER, SOPHIE MOROSOLI, PETER VAN AELST

“Because sensationalist elements are prevalent in disinformation, this study examines the role of sensationalism in supporting disinformation. [...] Our results show a weak influence of tabloidized cultures, but people who frequently use tabloid or alternative media are more likely to agree with disinformation. Users who are uncertain about what is true and what is false are also more likely to agree with disinformation, especially when it is presented sensationally. The average user, however, is more likely to agree with disinformation that is presented neutrally. This finding is concerning, as disinformation presented in a sober manner is much harder to detect by those who want to fight the “infodemic.

Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., Vol. 4, No. CSCW2, Article 130.

This exploratory study examined how journalists, fact-checkers, and Internet users in Bangladesh experience and confront online misinformation. Among its findings, it notes that most Bangladeshi news organizations do not have dedicated fact-checking units and do not actively debunk viral misinformation and hoaxes; the three notable Bangladeshi fact-checking organizations are under-resourced, often work voluntarily, and face political pressure, and there is a disconnect between the mainstream media organizations and the independent fact-checkers. The research paper recommends collaboration between the two.

PNAS

The authors recommend that simple and scalable media literacy interventions can help decrease the perceived accuracy of false news, but these interventions will have to be conducted on a recurring basis because the study showed that the effects decayed over time.

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh - DIN MOHAMMAD

This conference paper uses the example of a fact-checking initiative launched at a Bangladeshi university with funding from the American Center in Dhaka to propose a co-curricular academic model for sustainable fact-checking initiatives in Bangladesh. It also provides a brief comparative analysis to examine the fate of two other fact-checking projects.

Georgetown Law Technology Review - ALICE E. MARWICK

Why Do People Share Fake News? A Sociotechnical Model of Media Effects
Georgetown Law Technology Review

PNAS - Edited by David G. Rand, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and accepted by Editorial Board Member Margaret Levi April 28, 2020 (received for review November 20, 2019)

This study examines the effects of Facebook/WhatsApp's media literacy campaign to provide "Tips" on how to spot false news through the Facebook news feed and also through full-page newspaper ads in India. The intervention improved discernment between mainstream and false news headlines by 17% for a highly educated online sample in India but did not affect a representative sample in a largely rural part of India where social media use is low. One caveat was that perceived accuracy of mainstream headlines also decreased but by a relatively smaller magnitude compared with perceived accuracy of false news headlines.
The authors recommend that simple and scalable media literacy interventions can help decrease the perceived accuracy of false news, but these interventions will have to be conducted on a recurring basis because the study showed that the effects decayed over time.

EDUCATION

Chapter from the book: Cunliffe-Jones, P et al. 2021. Misinformation Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Laws and Regulations to Media Literacy.

The State of Media Literacy in Sub-Saharan Africa 2020 and a Theory of Misinformation Literacy
[...] a report that examines the teaching of ‘media literacy’ in state-run schools in seven Sub-Saharan African countries as of mid-2020, as relates to misinformation. It explains the limited elements of media and information literacy (MIL) that are included in the curricula in the seven countries studied and the elements of media literacy related to misinformation taught in schools in one province of South Africa since January 2020. The authors propose six fields of knowledge and skills specific to misinformation that are required in order to reduce students’ susceptibility to false and misleading claims. Identifying obstacles to the introduction and effective teaching of misinformation literacy, the authors make five recommendations for the promotion of misinformation literacy in schools, to reduce the harm misinformation causes.

WHAT IS MISSING?

This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.