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SWPS University will Contribute to European Digital Media Observatory

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SWPS University will Contribute to European Digital Media Observatory

Central Europe is suffering the brunt of disinformation which, worldwide, is reaching unprecedented levels, on topics ranging from health to politics. The cross-border dimension of disinformation and its great volatility, whether in terms of contents or techniques used, call for coordinated, sophisticated and determined responses. Scholars from SWPS University, led by Professor Karina Stasiuk-Krajewska, will contribute their social sciences and media expertise to the Central European Digital Media Observatory (CEDMO), one of eight hubs selected by the European Commission for the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). The EDMO project is aimed at increasing awareness of fake news and ways of preventing the spread of false information.

We are very excited to be working on this crucial initiative with the renowned Charles University in Prague, which will be leading and coordinating the activities of the CEDMO consortium, and with the acclaimed French news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP), that will be working with all eight hubs on immediate disinformation responses and daily fact checking.

Intercepting, Debunking and Preventing Fake News

As the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) sets the frame for Europe, the aim of the Central European Digital Media Observatory (CEDMO) is to implement an unprecedented, but highly experienced hub, working against disinformation in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The CEDMO hub will be integrated to EDMO infrastructure and will empower organizations and individuals with timely information and state-of-the-art tools. CEDMO is supported by a large network of government, media, industry and NGO entities. Collaboration of all these stakeholders will establish recognition, visibility, and impact of the hub. It will catalyse understanding, identification and responses to disinformation, through efficient AI-powered fact checks and improved media literacy.

SWPS University’s Contribution to CEDMO

SWPS University will coordinate research activities of the whole consortium and will prepare the majority of research reports. The team will also conduct educational projects improving awareness of fake news, and promote fake news verification standards. Our activity will be an integral part of the Central European Digital Media Observatory (CEDMO), which assumes engagement and growing activity of partners in the field of identification and verification of fake news.

“The phenomenon of disinformation is one of the significant problems of contemporary societies. Fake news pertain to a variety of topics, spread rapidly, and inflict a lot of damage. Therefore, this project is of a great social significance. We are glad that we will be collaborating with renowned partners, in a strong international consortium. For me, the most significant aspect of the project is the collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the field. As the result, our research and analyses will have a true impact on the world and will contribute to limiting the social impact of disinformation. SWPS University brings a breadth of knowledge and a variety of research skills that our diverse team contributes,” says Professor Karina Stasiuk-Krajewska, Head of SWPS University team, Institute of Social Sciences, Facutly of Law and Communication in Wrocław, Head of the Faculty of Journalism and Social Communication.

“Moreover, SWPS University will engage in education, using our extensive teaching experience and our contact networks among media professionals. It is an opportunity for SWPS University to become a national leader and an important contributor to European cooperation not only in the area of fake news research, but also in the prevention of fake news,” adds Professor Stasiuk-Krajewska.

The team of SWPS University researchers will include:

Engagement in this project stems from SWPS University’s values – openness, courage, and responsibility – which inspire us to apply our knowledge and expertise to projects focused on crucial social issues and to pursue truth for the benefit of the society.

For me, the most significant aspect of the project is the collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the field. As the result, our research and analyses will have a true impact on the world and will contribute to limiting the social impact of disinformation. SWPS University brings a breadth of knowledge and a variety of research skills that our diverse team contributes...It is an opportunity for SWPS University to become a national leader and an important contributor to European cooperation not only in the area of fake news research, but also in the prevention of fake news.

Stasiuk-Krajewska, Karina Head of SWPS University team
Bio
Tak
Specialization
Media expert, specializing in media theory and ethics of professional communication
Permanent employee
Tak
First and last name
Karina Stasiuk-Krajewska
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Associate Professor
City
wroclaw
Discipline
communication-and-media-studies
Faculty
Array
Institute
Institute of Social Sciences
Position
profesor uczelni
Role in the Faculty
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Role in the Department
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Role in the Institute
{"funkcja-w-instytucie0":{"Funkcja":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Institute of Social Sciences"}}
Role in the Research Center
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Ph.D. / Associate Professor Karina Stasiuk-KrajewskaMedia expert, specializing in media theory and ethics of professional communication

 

Experts Working Together

The CEDMO consortium, led by Charles University (CU), in the Czech Republic, involves eight partners and four subcontractors. Its greatest strength is a diverse team of scientists specializing in technology and humanities collaborating with journalists and fact checking professionals. The fake news problem is inherently multidisciplinary and requires attention from multiple angles.

The consortium members will be responsible for different aspects of the project, according to their fields of expertise:

  • Development of technical infrastructure – Athens Technology Center (ATC)
  • Immediate disinformation responses and daily fact checking – Agence France-Presse
  • Development of methods and digital tools to improve and speed up debunking will be done by researchers who have extensive experience with artificial intelligence, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and machine learning – Kempelen Institute of Intelligent Technologies (KInIT) (Slovakia) and Czech Technical University (CTU)
  • Researching the impact of disinformation on the society will be conducted by social scientists and media researchers from Charles University (Czech Republic), University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius (Slovakia), SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Poland).

Improved Media Literacy and Better Awareness of Fake News

The project will allow researchers to learn more about the fake news phenomenon and, in turn, prevent its prevalence. Scientists will study the structure of disinformation texts, their sharing on the internet, and the process of fake news reception in various social groups. Additionally, they will research the existing verification methods and the attitudes towards fake news, common in professional groups, including journalists and public relations professionals. Research reports resulting from these studies will be published in Polish and English on the project’s website.

Based on the collected information, researchers will organize a series of educational activities for teachers, students, and specialists (e.g. journalists and public relation professionals), including podcasts, films, and interviews. They also plan to work with influencers to raise awareness of the phenomenon, publish articles on the subject, and organize conferences.

The interdisciplinary character of the consortium will add value to its outputs. For instance, analytical reports on the state of disinformation, primarily prepared by humanities researchers and journalists, will be enhanced by insights gained from digital tools created by technical researchers and developers of the consortium. The media literacy campaigns will not only rely on traditional techniques such as workshops, symposiums, webinars, but will also include innovative interactive tools, like self-tests or serious games, to empower and attract the public.

European Digital Media Observatory

The European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), which has become operational on 1 June 2020, serves as a hub for fact-checkers, academic researchers and other relevant stakeholders contributing to address disinformation in Europe. It also encourages and supports collaboration with media organisations, media literacy experts, and provides support to policy makers.

EDMO, as part of its first phase of activities, is working to deploy technical means and infrastructure to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange between researchers and fact-checkers in Europe, and coordinates joint activities at the EU level.

The second phase will start with the establishment of the first EDMO hubs that have just been announced. The aim is to eventually reach a full coverage of the EU and EEA.

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