Sponsored by the City of Strasbourg

7 November 2019 - 14.30-16.30 - City Hall - Interpretation: FR/EN

This lab will look at ways to deconstruct fake news and to offer appropriate analysis of the situations they depict (through social media monitoring, websites, news mark…). How do we raise awareness about disinformation? What are fake news and how do we spot them? How do we identify and counteract disinformation across many platforms?

initiative 1

Disinformation Democracy and the Peace Journalism Solution, Center for Global Peace Journalism, USA

The Center for Global Peace Journalism has been actively engaged in worldwide efforts to use peace journalism principles to combat political propaganda, social media disinformation, and hyper partisan political reporting. The goals of these initiatives include improving reporting about elections and politics; equipping journalists to better spot propaganda and offer counternarratives; helping journalists and their communities identify and counteract disinformation across many platforms; and encouraging more thoughtful (and less partisan or sectarian) societal discourse.




Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism


Steven Youngblood is the founding director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University in Parkville, Missouri USA, where he is a communications professor. He has organized and taught peace journalism seminars and workshops around the world. Youngblood is a two-time J. William Fulbright Scholar (Moldova 2001, Azerbaijan 2007). He also served as a U.S. State Department Senior Subject Specialist in Ethiopia in 2018. Youngblood is the author of “Peace Journalism: Principles and Practices” and “Professor Komagum”. He edits “The Peace Journalist” magazine, and writes and produces the “Peace Journalism Insights” blog. He has been recognized for his contributions to world peace by the U.S. State Department, Rotary International, and the UN Association of Kansas City.

initiative 2

Fighting Disinformation, Anna University, India

This initiative aims to create awareness and control the disinformation by educating the people and delivering authentic news to them. To educate people, we are providing capacity development on disinformation to the youth. The target group is selected from different colleges who are studying under various programmes. Information is provided about the nature, process, elements, effects and ways to cross check disinformation every week for the period of three months. After the intervention, we test their knowledge gained through the training. To provide authentic news to people, we are making standardization news procedures in consultation with editors / journalists. Through this we create a “news mark” for authenticated news called as “News Hygiene/ News Health”.




Associate Professor Anna University


Dr. S. Arulchelvan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Sciences, Anna University, Chennai, India. Earlier, he worked as a Journalist in leading Tamil dailies. He has been awarded FCT Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship from the University of Aveiro, Portugal and The Graciano Lopez Jaena Fellowship in Community Journalism by the University of Philippines. His specializations are Journalism, Development Communication, Educational Media and Community Media. He has been passionately engaged in several research projects with the support of UNICEF, Government of Tamil Nadu and other agencies and he completed around ten major and minor research projects in the area of communication, development and journalism. He visited more than ten countries for conference presentations and research activities. He is serving as an expert member for various Board of Studies, Journals, and Conferences.

initiative 3

Countering disinformation in Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development, Nigeria

The initiative counters disinformation and misinformation through fact checking. Our team includes “fake news spotters (focusing on Facebook and WhatsApp specifically), fact checkers (who use IT tools) and social media handlers (who engage on relevant platforms). The fact checking is done in real time in response to spotted fake news across the country.


AIGBE Austin

Austin AIGBE

Senior Program Officer, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)


Austin is Senior Program Officer, at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Nigeria, where he supports governance and people-centred development programmes. He takes lead as fake news spotter on the project, which aimed to combat Fake news, disinformation and misinformation in the 2019 general elections and beyond. Austin, holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from New York University (NYU)’s Robert F. Wagner, Graduate School of Public Service, specializing in international development – Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. At NYU, he was the President of Wagner Student Alliance for Africa (WSAFA), and a member of International Public Service Association (IPSA). Austin is an alumni fellow of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program, and the Global Social Change Leadership Institute (GSCLI), New York.

initiative 4

San Marino against Disinformation, San Marino

The initiative “San Marino contro la disinformazione” (San Marino Against Disinformation) was born with the intent of raising awareness about disinformation and media literacy as well as fostering cooperation between organizations and initiatives promoting quality information and democracy in the Republic of San Marino and abroad.




Young Press Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of San Marino

San Marino

Beatrice Simoncini is a Young Press Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of San Marino. She is an active member of the National Working Group in charge of coordinating the activities related to the project San Marino Against Disinformation, which involves various institutions and civil society across the country and aims to define best practices to tackle disinformation and circulation of the so-called “fake news”. In 2015, she worked as Assistant at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of San Marino to the United Nations and OSCE in Vienna, as well as at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of San Marino to the European Union in Brussels in 2017. She has a solid background in Applied Interlinguistic Communication and Translation and represents San Marino as national expert at the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI).

Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.

ALEXANDER Titus  2019


Author, Honorary Fellow, Crick Centre & Founder of Democracy Matters

United Kingdom

Titus Alexander is a campaign coach, trainer, writer and Fellow of the Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics. His latest book is Practical Politics: Lessons in Power and Democracy, on teaching democratic politics. He runs Leading Change, an advanced apprenticeship in campaigning, and is founder of Democracy Matters, an alliance for learning practical politics. He created the Charter 99 for Global Democracy campaign and Uniting Humanity, a Grundtvig trainer of trainers programme. Publications include Discussing Democracy (2015), Campaigning is OK! (2009), Learning Power (2007), Family Learning (Demos 1997), Citizenship Schools: a practical guide, and Unravelling Global Apartheid: An overview of world politics (Polity 1996).



Deputy Mayor of the City of Strasbourg


Nawel Rafik-Elmrini is a lawyer since 2002. She has been Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg for European and international relations, twinning initiatives between towns, decentralized cooperation and adviser to Strasbourg Eurométropole since 2008. She represents the City of Strasbourg in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and she is particularly committed to education for European citizenship, cultural diversity and refugee reception and integration. Ms. Rafik-Elmrini chairs, among others, the Information Center on European Institutions. She is also Vice-President of Grand-Est Solidarités et Coopérations pour le Développement.