Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Experiential Learning

Cyber News Verification Lab at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong


The teaching of the core journalistic value of verification must develop to meet new challenges and keep apace with pressures in a cyber age that has now moved beyond a ‘web 2.0’ era. The Internet, social media and mobile platforms have spurred a continuous flow of information – and misinformation that digital citizens can conveniently access and share. Yet time again we see the digital audience’s critical thinking skills are still developing to adjust in the age of the ‘viral fake’. Against such a current backdrop, it is crucial for journalism students be literate in new digital technologies and the verification of user-generated content. Rosen (2016, par1) notes that journalists must be “literate in what’s changing journalism” and extends this against a back drop of what he calls “Open Journalism;” which includes the requirement of verification of “user generated content, networked journalism, crowd sourcing, and social media as a reporting tool.” [Rosen, 2015, par 14]

This project is an experiment in experiential learning through a cyber verification lab at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre. This ‘J-school verification lab’ is believed to be the first of its kind in Asia. Meedan from Google News Labs has partnered in this research by providing access and technical support to develop a global platform for the verification lab. Students simultaneously learn how to apply critical thinking skills as well as practical digital skills to ‘debunk and discern’ online information and make sense from the constant ‘noise’ flowing from photos, videos and messages in social media. Results of the cyber verification lab will be made available on open-platforms for the public to consume globally, in an effort to improve digital citizenship responses and behaviour.

Principal Investigator

Ms. A.L. Kruger, Journalism and Media Studies Centre, Faculty of Social Sciences

Project level

Programme-level project

Project Completion

August 2017