Factcheck.RU: Results of Project-based Learning for Master's Students at Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities

Groups of Master's degree students СГ-116 and СГ-216 of the Department of Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations at the Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities have summed up the results of project-based learning this academic year. As part of the Factcheck.RU project, Master's degree students worked on collective and individual fact-checking materials devoted to pressing, socially significant topics.

As part of the project, students first study the training module on "Verification and Fact-Checking" in order to acquire competencies for verifying media statements: students gain knowledge about the essence of disinformation processes, as well as skills in using tools to verify information.

“The verification has a three-stage nature, including analysis of the statement, analysis of the source of the statement and analysis of the fact itself. As part of fact-checking algorithms, Master's degree students use a “truthfulness scale”. A statement can have the status of “true”, “mostly true”, “mostly false” or “false”,” says Anna Krasavina, Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations, curator of the project.

Among the materials on which the Master's degree students of group СГ-216 worked collectively was a study of European anti-Semitism after World War II, as well as a study of Articles 106 and 107 of the UN Charter from the point of view of legitimizing the persecution of the Nazis.

Group СГ-116 focused its collective research on the Gaza Strip conflict; students also worked on individual fact-checking materials.

Master’s degree student Karina Abdrakhmanova studied aspects of the legislative bill that protects the rights of the “actual” families of dead and missing participants of the special military operation (SMO). In the media, this bill sounded like “permitting posthumous marriages in the Russian Federation”, which is why the fact check received the status “mostly false”.

Elizaveta Volosnikova devoted her research to scientific discoveries related to cloning; the fact check also received the status “mostly false”.

Rifat Bulatov worked on a fact check about the requirements for men in the Russian Federation to present a military ID from February 1, 2024; the fact check received the status “false”.

Ahmed Madi, as part of the Faktchek.RU project, examined Western and Arab media reports around the events in Gaza; his study was called “Deportation of Palestinians to Sinai. Is the Israeli plan succeeding?”.

"In the course of working on their fact-checking materials, Master’s degree students of our department master the much-needed today methods and tools of fact-checking and verification, and the demand for these skills is difficult to overestimate because the information security of our society is on the line," comments Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Head of the Department of Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations, project manager of Factcheck.RU Liudmila Shesterkina.

The experience of conducting fact-checking during studies at the university gives students of the Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities indispensable competencies for highly professional work in the modern media space.

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