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Course Schedule

Monday, March 12

Part I:
The Free Press: A Necessary Evil — A look at varying degrees of press freedom in countries around the world, why it’s fundamental to democracy, the rights vs. responsibilities of the press and positives and negatives of the free flow of information, including accuracy, balance, speaking truth to power and propaganda.


Guest Speaker 
Tim Weninger
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Notre Dame

TOPIC:  Social Bots





Part II:
Cultural Markets and State Actors and Bots — Manipulating social media to control what users see, know and talk about. Creating fake users to influence voters, citizens and public opinion.


Guest Speaker 
Fil Menczer
Indiana University
Professor of Informatics and Computer Science
and Former Director of the Center for Complex
Networks and Systems Research

TOPIC:  Social Bots



Tuesday, March 13

Part I
Media Literacy in a Fake News Age — Learning to consume media with a critical eye. How to discern credible sources of information and how fact-checking institutions like PolitiFact and Snopes work.


Guest Speaker 
Glenn Kessler
Pinocchio Tracker
Washington Post

TOPIC:  Fact-checking





Part II
Online Users — How they browse and search, and why they click on, vote for and general consume media in the digital world.



Wednesday, March 14

Part I
Good News, Bad News — How governments and NGOs interact with the media.

Good News — How change-makers partner with mainstream media to tell stories with social impact. Case study: Seafood from Slaves. How the Associated Press and an NGO worked together to free 2,000 slaves in the international fishing industry.

Bad News — Whistleblowing, being investigated, dealing with sensational media and managing social media attacks. Case study: Associated Press investigation of child sexual assault by U.N. Peacekeepers.

Guest Speaker
Mary Rajkumar
Investigative Editor
Associated Press

TOPIC: NGOs and the Press

Guest Speaker
Ray Offenheiser
Former president, Oxfam America



Part II
Social Media in Disasters and Crises  —  How social media is changing emergency response and crisis-affected communities.

Guest Speaker
Dharma Daily
Ph.D. Candidate
Human Centered Design & Engineering
University of Washington

TOPIC:  Crisis Trolling