Producing Media to Counter Disinformation

This course provides practical tools to combat disinformation, and increase outreach in media.

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€ 5.650,00

Fake news, misinformation, polarisation, propaganda and shrinking spaces- modern journalism is under threat. Our biggest most trusted tool “facts” seem to be failing. When facts and fact checking alone is not enough what else can be done to turn the tide?

As targets of state-sponsored or hate-group online trolling, journalists and civil society actors face intimidation and lack the proper tools, knowledge, or support mechanisms that can help them fight back.

About this course

This course looks at the information crisis and provides practical tools to combat disinformation, build counter-narratives, utilize fact-checking tools, and increase outreach in local media. Combining state-of-the-art techniques on media literacy, alternate messaging and campaigning, we explore what can be done to fight back.

RTNC is the first training institution to offer a structured course aimed specifically at counteracting disinformation, which forms part of our media for behaviour change group of courses.

Each of our trainers is experienced in creating and running successful counter disinformation campaigns. They work closely with students to ensure a full understanding of the material. The course covers:

▶ Learning the proven strategies used in counter disinformation
▶ How to implement campaigns that propose alternates to state sponsored messages 
▶ Understanding the basis of polarization, propaganda tools and malinformation strategies used to target society and ways to counter these.

Nathaniel Branden

“The first step toward change is awareness”


Nathaniel Branden
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For all journalists, media and communications staff from NGOs, and campaigning organisations

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Who are taking on the challenge and responsibility of combatting disinformation

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Skills learnt in this course are applicable to all media across platforms, globally

Course outline

This 3-week course - spread out over 4 weeks - provides all the tools you need to craft convincing and emotional narratives that change minds and counter disinformation. Working with professionals, this course offers participants new tools such as

▪ Offering highly effective strategies that address the root of radical ideologies, propaganda and hate messaging.  

▪ Providing universal theories on applying your story, format and audience mapping to ensure successful messages are created to reach your audience.

▪ Exploring techniques on how to design and produce emotional narratives using actual examples 

The first week includes several small group interactive sessions and workshops to ensure that you learn by doing. 

Module 1: Know your target audience 

▪ Where do ideas come from?
▪ How to zero in on an audience
▪ Mapping your target audience
▪ Influencers, agreed realities and emotional pay-offs
▪ Using mapping to discover target audiences
▪ Using social media for insights
▪ Developing target audience statements
▪ Pitching target audiences

Module 2: Persuade your target audience 

▪ What is learning and why this is important to understanding audiences?
▪ How do people learn? Information, skills, and behaviours
▪ The ingredients of persuasive aims
▪ Why you need different credible sources
▪ Why you should craft emotional appeals
▪ The benefits of formulating a logical approach
▪ Investigating examples – persuading target audiences
▪ Applying persuasion to your own context

Module 3: Storytelling for media professionals 

▪ Narrative journalism versus information journalism
▪ The eight essential elements of story
▪ Symbols and universal truths
▪ Studying real examples illustrating the eight essential elements of story
▪ Story detective sessions: develop your own story
▪ The micro story: story in a tweet
▪ Create characters to engage audiences
▪ The importance of character: identifying people like us
▪ The types and tropes of drama characters
▪ Character histories and how to craft them
▪ Hero journeys and creating powerful character growth

Module 4: Creative formats to engage audiences

▪ How do we tell stories using media?
▪ Ten engaging formats and what makes them unique
▪ Which formats are good for conveying information versus conveying emotions?
▪ Types of formats and the ideas box
▪ Combining ideas creatively
▪ Investigating formats: interviewing
▪ Investigating formats: the discussion
▪ Practice: engaging audiences with the discussion format

▪ We draw on lessons learned by counter disinformation experts in what is working and what is not.
▪ We explore concepts of disinformation and malinformation and how does it work in polarizing societies.
▪ We explore key issues in digital media that are driving misinformation: echo chambers filter bubbles and sponsored advertising. How these work and how they can be interrupted.

▪ We examine media risks through interactive immersive exercises designed to break habits of amplification of messaging.
▪ Create counter narratives that focus on our own contexts
▪ Examine social media strategies and their efficacy
▪ Delve into the potency of offline strategies such as media literacy and school programmes

In the final week, we combine the learning of the first two weeks and use the RNTC method of “learning-by-doing".

Students will create their own positive alternative messages in a variety of media (audio, text, still image, or video), for various platforms (including radio, TV, print, web, and social media) in an effort to put the theories learned, into practice.

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After you have completed all the course sessions and assignments, you will receive an RNTC certificate and join the ranks of more than 6000 successful RNTC alumni worldwide.

Course outcomes

You'll understand the universal theories of story, format, and audience mapping, and how to apply these as an antidote to disinformation. The course teaches effective strategies to respond to the distortions of radical propaganda, enabling communities to seek alternatives.

✔ Understanding the dominant ideological messaging and key narratives in polarizing social issues.

✔ Producing multimedia material which changes attitudes and behaviours, using proven persuasion theories

✔ Learning from actual counter disinformation programmes and real-life cases that have been successful.

✔ Learning how to use creative techniques to deliver alternative narratives to micro-target audiences

✔ Developing a counter disinformation strategy

✔ Learning basic digital security principals to keep you safe online

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Don't hesitate to reach out to us by email: [email protected]

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