Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Michela Zingone

  • Credits 4

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Media, Public and Corporate Communication (cod. 5703)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 22, 2021 to Nov 24, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The laboratory intends to present the tools and techniques used by journalistic organizations and fact-checkers in verifying the information produced and shared by different sources. At the end of the course the student: has learned what is meant by fact-checking in the journalistic field and how this activity has evolved over time; is able to evaluate which type of content can be subjected to fact-checking; is able to assess the reliability of a source on the basis of effective procedures; knows the main tools that can help in fact-checking activities related to digital content (especially images and videos); is familiar with the contemporary debate relating to the production and circulation of false or problematic content (e.g. artificial intelligence and deep fakes).

Course contents

The Laboratory intends to involve the participants in the experimentation of typical practices of investigative journalism. During the course, structured in face-to-face and operational meetings, concrete experiences of investigative journalism, debunking and, fact-checking practices will be analyzed through the active involvement of the participants.

The Laboratory focuses on these topics:

Evolution of investigative journalism: from its origins to the digital age

Case analysis: from the first major print investigations to investigative podcasts

Sources: from research to reworking

Writing, style, language

The profession of the investigative journalist today: limits and new opportunities

Fake news, conspiracy, propaganda and new forms of online disinformation

Fact-checking: tools and actors

Analysis of national and international experiences

Participants will be involved in the development and implementation of a journalistic investigation project where to put into practice the reflections and knowledge gained thanks to the attendance of the courses but also the strategies and methodological approaches explored through the Laboratory. 

According the characteristics of the projects planned by the working groups, podcasting, video production and visualstorytelling on social media will also be experimented during the workshop.


We suggest reading the following texts:

Carson, A. (2019) Investigative Journalism, Democracy and the Digital Age, Routledge, New York

Lee Hunter, M. (2011) Story-based inquiry. A manual for investigative journalism, UNESCO

Petrini, V. (2020) Don't call them fake news, Chiarelettere editore, Milan

Randall, D. (2009) The almost perfect journalist, Laterza, Rome-Bari

Riva, G. (2018) Fake news, il Mulino, Bologna

A specific list of websites and further bibliographies will be provided during the course.

Teaching methods

The Laboratory will be structured in ten meetings lasting 2 hours. Attendance is mandatory for at least 70% of the meetings.

The teaching will be organized in:

  • frontal lessons
  • analysis and discussion of case histories
  • practice
  • development and implementation of project-work

Assessment methods

The final assessment of learning will be based on the project-work presented at the end of the workshop by the students.

Organized by working groups, or individually, students have to design, develop, and implement a journalistic investigation project, which may have as a final output a reportage (text / images) or multimedia products (video series, podcast series).

The projects created by the students will be published on the blog and on the social media channels of the LM Compass.

Teaching tools

Presentations with slides, videos, websites, social networking and blogging platforms, podcasts. Equipment of the VisuaLab multimedia laboratory of the Department of Political and Social Sciences.

Office hours

See the website of Michela Zingone