Workshop: Learn how to spot fake news and misinformation from science reporters

6.00pm – 7.30pm on Thursday, 30 September 2021

Irish Science & Technology Journalists' Association - BEYOND CHEERING. Workshop by ISTJA members: Marie Boran, Anthony King & Sabine Louët. 6.00pm Thu 30 September. How to spot fake news & misinformation.

With people increasingly turning to social media for their news, misinformation has become widespread over the past number of years, in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how can you spot fake news? 

In this workshop, science journalists Marie Boran, Sabine Louët and Anthony King explored how fake news develops and empowered attendees with tools to spot and analyse it. 

Marie introduced the session and talked about the business of fake news, looking at the people and organisations behind misinformation and disinformation, their techniques and motivations. Workshop attendees played the Bad News game developed at the University of Cambridge aimed at building psychological resistance against online misinformation.

Anthony then set a real-world task for attendees on spotting fake news and spoke about strategies that he uses during his day-to-day work as a science reporter. Sabine finished the workshop with tips and tools from an editorial perspective that are useful for reporters on the ground.

This was the second event in the BEYOND CHEERING series organised by the Irish Science and Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA) which took a critical look at science coverage in the Irish media.

This series also included a fireside chat which asked if scientists take enough of a stand on critical issues and a panel discussion exploring the role science reporting is playing in Irish media. You can watch both of these here.

Marie Boran is a freelance science and technology reporter who has written for the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and Silicon Republic. Boran lectures on science communication and science in society at Dublin City University and Maynooth University.

Anthony King is vice-president of the ISTJA and a freelance science journalist. His articles have appeared in Nature, Science, Cell, Chemistry World, New Scientist, the Irish Times,, New York Times, EMBO Reports, Chemistry & Industry, and more.

Sabine Louët is a science journalist, editor, and media entrepreneur. She is the Founder and CEO of SciencePOD (which stands for Science Prose On-Demand), a specialist content creation solution focused on science and innovation.