“FactCheck-Ecology”: A New Interdisciplinary Journalism Project is to be Launched at SUSU ISSH

In the new academic year, the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities at South Ural State University is launching a new interdisciplinary inter-department educational journalism project entitled “FactCheck-Ecology”, which is to be implemented within project-based learning while training Master’s degree students majoring in Transmedia Journalism.

By the sphere of Technology of Humanitarian Eco Engineering, the project has been integrated into the research direction of the university’s development in Ecology, the purpose of which is to establish a Russian Federal Centre of the Best Available Ecological Technologies and Competencies.

“FactCheck-Ecology is an expectable continuation of the already-implemented international innovative project of the department of Journalism and Mass Communication called ‘Eurofactcheck’,” says the new project leader, Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy), Anvar Ismailov. “Therefore, it is for a reason that implementation of this ecology-related project is based on the arrangement of the procedure of fact-checking of federal and regional mass media publications regarding eco-related topics of Chelyabinsk and the Chelyabinsk region, teaching this process to the new generation of journalists working under conditions of devaluation of news flows, legalization of the ‘post-truth’ phenomenon and fake news, and on the necessity to carry out media support of ecology-oriented SUSU projects.”

Direct goal of the project is to form a positive informational background on the ecology-related problem and a positive image of Chelyabinsk and the Chelyabinsk region based on application of the eurofactchecking technology.

FactCheck-Ecology project is intended to support journalism education and quality journalism, enhance the level of trust to new media, make the necessary corrections in the accuracy of statements made by mass media, strengthen public participation in the activity of mass media, improve media literacy and provide motivation to distribute verified information in social networks.

“Among the important tasks for Master’s degree students and academic staff to complete will also be further development of the Fact-Checking innovative educational module, creation of an Internet community for interested people, and development of an Internet platform called ‘FactCheck-Ecology’,” explained the Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Liudmila Shesterkina. “The result of the project will be a reference Internet portal providing a reliable information on contact data of ecological foundations, public associations, and eco-related movements of Chelyabinsk and the Chelyabinsk region. The Internet resource will also take the responsibility of providing informational support to eco-related projects of South Ural State University.”

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