What is your role in the organisation you are leading?

Project leader and administrator of virtual Fake News Museum (Muzej lažnih vijesti).

How would you describe the mission and expertise of your organisation in the field of media literacy/ critical thinking/ fact checking/ countering disinformation?

The Institute for New Media and e-democracy (InMed) gathers scientists and practical workers in the field of new media, mass media, public relations and political communications.  The main function of InMed (https://www.edemokracija.hr/)  is to study the influence of new technologies on social and political processes.

The project of the Fake News Museum is the result of many years of work of  InMed which, among other activities, has been organizing an international scientific conference “Information Technology and Journalism” at the Interuniversity Center in Dubrovnik since 1995. Journalists, scientists and other participants of the last four conferences recognized the growing danger of disinformation for media and democracy, so we decided to establish the Fake News Museum as a virtual place where people can find more information about fake news, misinformation and disinformation.

What are the main resources developed by your organization you’d be willing to share?

On our webpage www.mlv.hr you can find many resources on the subject of disinformation and fake news.

In February 2021. we have launched our first free online course for everyone interested in disinformation and fake news. The course lasted for 10 working days via e-mail during which the participants were introduced with the history of fake news, tools and techniques for fighting fake news and with various aspects and forms of disinformation. More than 70 participants have learned about social media networks, deepfakes, confirmation bias, factchecking and other.

Our second online course on fake news will start in June and everyoue can register for free by filling out a simple form on www.mlv.hr    

Main topics of the Fake News Museum are testimonials of journalists, university professors and other professionals who wrote short articles on their experiences with ‘fake news’ (https://mlv.hr/svjedocanstva/), educational games, scientific papers, reports and other materials (https://mlv.hr/multimedija/) as well as selected articles   about disinformation and fake news from Croatian media outlets (https://mlv.hr/novosti/)

Which are, in your opinion, the three biggest current challenges related to countering disinformation in your country?

– lack of media and digital literacy in Croatia;
– some media outlets (ethics and professionalism);
– no legislative regulation (‘fake news law’).

Could you name three solutions that you implemented or else want to recommend as an advice how to counter disinformation, strengthen societies’ critical thinking skills and build civil resilience to disinformation?

– media literacy should finally become an integral part of (primary) school curriculum;
– government should invest and educate citizens of all ages about the threats and dangers of disinformation and fake news for democracy and open societies because  disinformation and fake news erode people’s trust in institutions, scientists and media.

What are the top three events or dates you have witnessed this year that have caused an intensification of disinformation activities?

Disinformation campaigns organized before and during local elections in May in Croatia, especially in Zagreb, flooded media and social networks. 

What are the prevailing disinformation narratives you have observed in the media space this year?

Disinformation and conspiracy theories on origin, protective measures and other claims related to Sars-CoV-2 virus and vaccination.

Have you been relying on any fact-checking tools? If yes, please describe them or share the links.

I often check news on various factchecking services (First Draft, Snopes, PolitiFact) and applications for image verification such as https://tineye.com/

In your opinion, who are the best performing actors – in your country, as well as in the EU – playing crucial roles in the field of media literacy today and why?

The Agency for Electronic Media in Croatia works on fighting disinformation by supporting website www.medijskapismenost.hr


Interview published in July, 2021.

Lordan Prelog

Social media manager at University of Zagreb
Team player, constructive,  open-minded