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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Information, Manipulation and Democracy
Module Code CM5963
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eileen Culloty
Semester 2: Eileen Culloty
Autumn: Eileen Culloty
Module TeachersEileen Culloty
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will examine wide-ranging concerns about information manipulation and democracy. It will situate these concerns within normative theories of democratic citizenship; debates about the nature of truth, evidence, and expertise; and arguments about the affordances the media environment. Lectures will also address the definitional challenges surrounding disinformation; the evidence for claims about the causes and harms of disinformation; and the benefits and drawbacks of major countermeasures including factchecking, pre-bunking, and media literacy. Students will apply theoretical and empirical insights to contemporary case studies through group and individual assignments. Throughout, students will be expected to engage with a wide-range of reading materials including policy documents, research papers, reports, and journalism.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the normative role of informed citizens within democracies.
2. Evaluate claims about truth, evidence, and expertise.
3. Assess the causes and impacts of information manipulation.
4. Apply theoretical and empirical insights to case studies
5. Compare the benefits and limitations of different countermeasures.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Fieldwork10No Description
Independent Study65No Description
Assignment Completion27No Description
Total Workload: 124

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Lecture topics
1. Normative theory: what should citizens be informed? 2. Evidence and objectivity: deciding what is true 3. Expertise and experience: deciding who to trust 4. Information filters: the role of journalism 5. Information filters: the role of online platforms 6. Distortion and deception: 7. Group presentations (case study) 8. Group presentations (case study) 9. Countering deception: reactions 10. Countering deception: preemptive 11. Conclusion: political contexts and future directions

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class TestQuiz20%Week 4
Group presentationGroup presentation on a manipulation case study30%Week 7
AssignmentComparative analysis of a case study50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Ted Striphas,Ted: 2023, Algorithmic Culture Before the Internet, 9780231206693
  • Eileen Culloty,Jane Suiter: 2021, Disinformation and Manipulation in Digital Media, Routledge, 9780367515270
Other Resources

59569, Website, 0, The Media Manipulation Casebook, https://mediamanipulation.org/,
Programme or List of Programmes
MAJMA in Journalism
MAPMA in Political Communication
MSMCMA in Social Media Communications

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