The “Information Verification” methodological guide is a university manual aimed at helping professors to organize information verification courses, and to help students and why not, reporters, to be guided by the tools presented in the book. The book offers a course program consisting of eight thematic lessons and a methodological guide to teaching.
“Especially in times of rapidly evolving events, demonstrations, elections, natural disasters, and massive events, information flow is difficult to control, and suspicious information is easier to break into the news. A journalist working in the age of information technology and social networking should be equipped with the skills and tools for checking facts and verifying news as quickly as possible, and to deliver credible and reliable information to the audience,” says the guide.
The guide has been published by the Media Initiatives Center, developing it with university lecturers. This has helped to take into accounts the needs, opportunities and challenges facing journalists.
Book co-author, Head of the Journalism Research Center at Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, Tatiana Hovhannisyan, appreciates the importance of the guide in the teaching process. “It is very important that we have a manual in Armenian because we have very little professional literature in our native language. As a methodological guide, it is very useful for lecturers. The main ideas in each topic are concentrated. A methodology is provided on how to teach the topics more effectively,” said Tatiana Hovhannisyan.
The guidebook is specifically designed to help teachers. The app contains a questionnaire to check students knowledge.
Harutyun Tsatryan, a guest lecturer at the American University of Armenia and co-author of the book, says the guide is applicable not only to students but also to those who want to receive responsible news.
“It is interesting that some of the lecturers have had prior experience with fact-checking, but did not have any experience teaching about fact-checking.
The group that created this methodological manual had rather intense meetings and discussions. There are specialists in the field who are engaged in open data and some good advice had been taken from them,” said Tsatryan.
The “Information Verification” guide is the second one in a series of manuals published by the MIC. In 2017, the organization had prepared a brief guide to fact-checking called #Verified.