The most important outputs of the NEWSREEL2 project are the e-learning & teaching materials. We had been working very hard for a long time to provide materials that can be key for journalism and media students or we can say, for future journalists in the following fields:
Storytelling in social media; Graphic journalism; Improving democratic sensibility; Covering migration; Foreign coverage; Journalism for voice-activated assistants and devices; AI and journalism, robot journalism and algorithms; Verifying and analysing fake news; Debunking disinformation.
Now all of the materials that was created in the project is published and available in the final form from the e-learning menu of the project portal together with the materials of the first NEWSREEL project! They were primarily planned for blended learning courses of higher educational institutions, but also appropriate for anyone who would like to educate themselves on the highlighted journalistic fields. In this article we introduce their contents briefly.
The e-learning materials on storytelling in social media deal with the following questions: how to elaborate journalistic stories in platforms like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and how to use special features of social media sites (Instagram story, live stream) for journalistic purposes? The materials also focus on the understanding and managing of social media metrics as well as how to follow social media policies. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/storytelling_social_media
In order to facilitate a better understanding of graphic journalism, we developed teaching materials on the field of graphic journalism. The materials include the creation of comics reportage that requires both comics art and journalistic work, the case studies of specialized journals in which the genre of comics reportage became important. Futhermore they also focus on some examples of comics reportage-series and on introducing participants to basic tools and subgenres of comics journalism. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/graphic_journalism
Though their essential democratic role is clear for most of the journalists and journalism students, the new challenges of the digital and “post-truth” age, and the specific problems of the public sphere in the CEE countries made it necessary to focus on improving democratic sensibility in journalism and media education. The module covers what is democracy and democratic decision making, the majority and minorities, the separation of powers, the civic society. The materials also highlight the connection between information, propaganda and manipulation and private life in the digital age. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/improving_democratic_sensibility
Based on the shortcomings in media coverage on migration identified by several studies, we developed a module which is applicable in different political systems and journalism cultures across Europe. It substantially broadens the knowledge and understanding of the issue of migration and refugees in a global context and improve the didactic skills as well as the research and reporting skills of participating educators and future journalists. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/covering_migration
In order to reach a more balanced coverage of international topics, we created a specific e-learning module on foreign coverage. It concentrates on the introduction of basic models of foreign coverage and key studies, moreover best practice cases of foreign reporting and cross-border collaborations. It also emphasize the importance of getting to know mandated sources for sound foreign coverage. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/foreign_coverage
Consumers are increasingly using voice-driven services on smartphones and smart speakers, which is changing the way content is sought out and consumed. Our materials on the field of journalism for voice-activated assistants and devices cover the following questions: how are these devices and assistants being used and what is their potential for news? They also involve an analysis of the largest market players on the field (like Amazon and Google) and their products (such as Alexa and Google Assistant) and focus on how voice activated content can represent a new frontier for traditional publishers, where they could play around with new content formats. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/voice_activated_assistants_and_devices
Artificial intelligence has appeared in journalism in recent years, challenging the work of journalists. The e-learning materials of AI and journalism, robot journalism and algorithms cover the kinds of journalism it can be suitable for (like routine news stories in repetitive topics for which clean, accurate, and structured data are available). They also focus on the use of algorithms to automatically generate news based on structured data and the potential and threats of algorithms that create thousands of news stories. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/ai_journalism_robot_journalism_algorithms
The learning materials of verifying and analysing fake news cover the next steps: Verifying possible disinformation, this means explaining the differences between opinion, information, disinformation and mal-information. The authors also dealt with identifying information and opinion going viral online and verifying information from (possible) witnesses from around the globe, that use a multitude of languages and verifying information from (possible) official sources and put emphasis on how to use the available tools and software. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/verifying_and_analysing_fake_news
Debunking disinformation is also strongly connected to the phenomenon of fake news. The materials of this field focus on the understanding why debunking is not always working on intended audiences, due to context, previous informational experiences, values and communication habits shared by them. They also analyse the context of false information and the intention of the source creating communication instruments that will not increase the scope of disinformation and involve following up, so that the debunking effort can be clearly understood by the public. Link: https://newsreel.pte.hu/debunking_disinformation
The materials are available in two different forms: the Storytelling in social media, Improving democratic sensibillity, Foreign coverage, AI & journalism and Debunking disinformation modules were developed by the Storyline programme, while Covering migration, Graphic journalism, Voice-activated devices and Verifying and analysing fake news were developey by Microsoft PowerPoint. All of the teaching materials include the elaborated professional textual content of the given field, as well as multimedia elements (graphics, audio and video extensions). The materials created with Storyline involve interactive tutorials in real time for deepening and controlling the obtained knowledge, but suggested questions with answers are also available in the materials created by PowerPoint. Last but not least, all of them include some further tasks that can be discussed with the students / thought through alone and the list of the compulsory and additional literature is also attached.