Designing new(s) perspectives

Speaker 2023

How do we shape a new form of journalism that better meets human needs? That provides direction at a time when facts, fictions, and manipulated truths fill our news menu. The journalism and innovation professorship conducts design research into new forms of journalism. In this lecture, Danielle Arets and Marije Arentze (professorship of Journalism & Innovation) discuss ways to better reflect on dominant frames in journalism and new ways to deal with disinformation, including prebunking.  

The spread of online misinformation is increasingly seen as a crisis that demands urgent action (Farkas & Schou, 2020). Despite many efforts, research into the effectiveness of anti-misinformation interventions remains in its infancy (Lee, 2018). On the individual level, four categories of interventions can be distinguished: Boosting interventions, which seek to improve cognitive resistance and reduce individuals’ susceptibility to manipulation; nudging interventions, which aim to guide people’s behavior in online environments; debunking (correcting falsehoods), and automated content labeling. Many lab studies have been conducted in the last couple of years to test the effectiveness of such interventions, but questions remain as to how these results translate to the real world(Roozenbeek et al., 2022). 

Our research focuses on psychological inoculation (or: prebunking) and media literacy training. Prebunking, short for “pre-emptive debunking”, is based on inoculation theory: people can build resistance to manipulation through exposure to a weakened dose of the unwanted persuasive argument (Compton et al., 2021). On the other hand, many media literacy interventions are inspired by debunking strategies; they often emphasize, for example, the importance of critically examining sources and evaluating evidence (Roozenbeek et al., 2022). 

How can we use insights around pre bunking in journalism? How do we design for a journalistic future where journalists, engineers, designers, and behavioral researchers work together? These and more questions will be addressed in this lecture.


Danielle Arets

Other authors:  

Marije Arentze

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Digital Humanities Tilburg