Disinformation studies: perspectives to an emerging research field

10 September 2021

The aim proposed for this ECREA 2021 post conference is to promote research that helps to define policies and strategies contributing to combat and effectively minimize the phenomena of disinformation and manipulation in the journalistic field. Thus, we intend to join together researchers who are interested in the topic, to develop this field of disinformation studies.
This initiative is part of the official program of the 8th ECREA ECC (online) conference Communication and Trust, scheduled for 6 to 9 September 2021.


The main goal of the event is to develop a set of studies and policies that allow us to identify and contribute to combat and effectively minimize the phenomena of misinformation and manipulation in the journalistic field.
In addition to fake news, the study of disinformation in the journalistic field includes theoretical paradigms and empirical approaches that go beyond those: bias, concealment of facts, agenda building, strategic use of sources, mobilization of emotion, empathic media and omission of data are studied in other contexts of journalism studies helping to clarify this new phenomenon.

There is a vast experience in the media effects theory, whose researchers studied, in due course, a set of phenomena of information and manipulation that today, with the necessary adaptations, constitute a corpus of examples and inspiration for new researches in different contexts. 

Finally, new research trends began to emerge which constitute a valuable theoretical and experimental corpus for the contemporary and present times: empathic media, recognition of patterns of reading, identification of behavior and consumption patterns with far-reaching consequences around on social, cultural and political life and considerable impact on democratic, electoral and civic participation practices.

PROGRAM (timezone: Lisbon; GMT+1)

09:30 am – Welcome Session

10:00 am – Session A
A1. A materialist approach to fake news (Thales Lelo & Roseli Figaro)
A2. Fake news and Algorithms: The Brazilian in Portugal in the 2018 Presidential Elections (Mehmet Besir Akinci)
A3. Borrowing International Relation Theories. Understanding Disinformation in a Multicentric Political Environment (Alessandra Massa & Giuseppe Anzera)
A4. Opinion-oriented news as a source of polarized disinformation on EU issues (Rubén Rivas-de-Roca & Mar Garcia Gordillo)

11:15 am – Coffee Break

11:30 am – Session B
B1. Research on the Social Harm of Internet Rumors and Its Prevention and Control Mechanism under the Epidemic Situation (Daming Liu, Yonggang Pei & Zhizhongt Zhang)
B2. Dissemination of epistemically toxic content about the Corona Pandemic (Aviv Barnoy, Zefat, Boaz Miller & Arnon Keren)
B3. “The Wuhan Virus”: Information Warfare via Twitter between China and the United States on the Origin of Covid-19 (Grabriele Consentino)
B4. Misinformation, news practices and effects on the publics: the role of Italian journalists facing the infodemic pressure (Rossella Rega, Emiliana De Blasio & Michele Valente)

12:45 am – Lunch Break

02:30 pm – Session C
C1. Fake news post-truth and journalism: weaknesses and strategies in 2018 Brazilian elections (Luísa Torre)
C2. The Twilight Zone: Case Studies in Disinformation & Mass Media (Alyssa M. Brumis)
C3. Fact-checking organizations against disinformation: an analysis of Portuguese initiatives (Ricardo Morais)
C4. Fake News Workshops for Children and Adults in Scotland (Alex Kocic)

03:45 pm – Coffee Break

04:00 pm – Session  D
D1. A multilevel discourse approach for developing credibility signals in online news (Murray Dick)
D2. Proposing a model for identifying and mitigating misinformation and disinformation in the television documentary film soundtrack (Robert Hardcastle)
D3. Analyzing fact-checking in the field of disinformation studies: for an epistemological approach (Angelina Toursel & Philippe Useille)
D4. Right to truth and right to lie in the current context of disinformation regulation (Andrei Richter)

05:15 pm – Coffee Break

05:30 pm – Closing Session


The organization of this post conference has established contacts with some academic journals, in order to consider special issues that include articles that may be submitted to us.

Journalism Practice. This Routledge journal will publish a special issue on the topic of our ECREA 2021 post-conference. Participants are encouraged to submit an abstract until September 1. More information here.

LabCom Books
. We will be publishing an ebook with proposals from ECREA 2021 post-conference participants who have not been selected for the Journalism Practice special edition. LabCom Books is an open-access publisher and is internationally recognized, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries. Although ebooks in Portuguese are predominant, it also publishes in other languages, such as English.


João Carlos Correia, University of Beira Interior (jcorreia@ubi.pt)
Pedro Jerónimo, University of Beira Interior (pj@ubi.pt)
Inês Amaral, University of Coimbra (ines.amaral@uc.pt


Re/media.Lab – Laboratory and Incubator of Local Media
LabCom – Communication and Arts
Media Veritas (media literacy program)
Journalism and Society SOPCOM Working Group

Open for more information

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
União Europeia
Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional
Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade
Universidade da Beira Interior
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