Special Issue "Surviving Disinformation: The Role of Journalism and Fact-Checking"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 352

Special Issue Editors

Dr. João Pedro Baptista
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Communication, Philosophy and Politics, University of Beira Interior (UBI), 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
2. Labcom–Communication and Arts, University of Beira Interior (UBI), 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Interests: fake news; online disinformation
Dr. Anabela Gradim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Communication, Philosophy and Politics, University of Beira Interior (UBI), 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
2. Labcom–Communication and Arts, University of Beira Interior (UBI), 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Interests: journalism; science communication; semiotics; rhetoric and the interface of these disciplines with cyberculture and digital media

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Online disinformation, in multiple formats, continues to threaten contemporary societies, negatively affecting public and democratic institutions. Since the 2016 US elections, disinformation has been a recurring toxic propagandistic instrument in political communication. In 2020, the disinformation problem redoubled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming a dangerous weapon against scientific truth. 

Faced with a media ecosystem in total disarray, it is important to discuss the role of journalism in the midst of a disinformation crisis where the truth is eroded and journalists are losing authority. Personal convictions based on stereotypes and prejudices seem increasingly decisive when it comes to making judgments about information. The journalist is no longer the exclusive gatekeeper of news. Due to programmatic ad distribution, disinformation competes with digital journalism for the audience’s attention on the same platforms, with similar business models.

What is the role of journalism in combating disinformation? What challenges will journalists and fact-checkers face in order to remain relevant sources to the public? Confronted with the chaotic scenario of communication, fact checking emerged as a movement to restore the public’s trust, but also to reform the role of journalism in the construction of public knowledge. If the Western model of journalism is to play a role in 21st century liberal democracies, fact checkers are an essential step in overcoming the poisonous disinformation environment that social media has created around it. 

This Special Issue aims to reflect on the role of journalism and fact checking in the current toxic disinformation ecosystem and its importance as a cornerstone of democracy. We are interested in understanding how journalistic practice has adapted to the new environment of digital communication, seeking to explore the development of fact checking, its relationship with politics and public opinion and its effectiveness in combating disinformation. Relevant topics for this Special Issue are:

  • Changes and consequences of the post-truth era in journalism.
  • The role of journalists as gatekeepers in the disinformation environment.
  • Fact-checking processes and methodologies.
  • Coping with the disinformation ecosystem.
  • Fact-checking as a new business model for journalism.
  • The productive routines of fact-checking in social media.
  • The role of political fact-checking.
  • The effect of political ideology and/or partisanship on consumption and sharing of fact checking on social media.
  • Fact-checking audience.

Dr. João Pedro Baptista
Dr. Anabela Gradim
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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