OBS* (Observatorio) 2024 Special Issue Announcement - Call for proposals


Uses of Media Literacy to tackle disinformation: the multiple roles of different stakeholders

Call for abstracts  (in English, Portuguese or Spanish - read here the text of the call)

In a media context where citizens admit to being in contact with disinformation phenomena, but where the vast majority admit to not always feeling ready to recognise it (European Parliament, 2022), the effects of disinformation tend to increase. These include increased polarisation and heighten political or religious persecution, growing lack of trust in democratic institutions, influence on decision-making or the possible effect on election and referendum processes. As a corollary, responsiveness to global problems is also reduced, as was the case during COVID-19 Lesher, Pawelec & Desai (2022).

To combat disinformation and reduce the effects of its consequences, several solutions have been proposed, both technological (developing technologies to detect disinformation and supporting fact-checkers), political (addressing emerging challenges such as content moderation, demanding transparency from platforms and guidance to act against generators and disseminators of disinformation) and also educational (improving scientific communication and investing in media literacy) (Sádaba & Salaverría, 2023; Heath, 2021).

Combating the consequences of disinformation is a social challenge in which actors from all fields - technological, legislative and educational - have a role to play. On this occasion, we focus on Media Literacy (here understood as a synonym of educommunication), not only as an instrument to combat disinformation, but in an integral logic (Frau-Meigs, 2022) of lifelong learning, in formal, non-formal and informal contexts. A Media Literacy that seeks to promote learning, developing creative skills, communication, critical thinking and the ability to participate in the public sphere (Hobbs, 2022).

In the specific case of Media Literacy training in formal learning contexts, it is important to highlight the roles to be played by different actors, from school leadership to families and tutors, media professionals, civil society and the community as a whole (European Commission, 2022).

This special issue focuses on addressing strategies and practices for prevention, early identification, subsequent verification and combating misinformation and its dissemination, as well as its articulation with Media Literacy, either in the sense of applying techniques associated with it, or to improve, create and validate new practices in different learning contexts. The application of curricular proposals, projects and practices, as well as community intervention initiatives with people of different age groups, involving professionals from different sectors, are particularly welcome. The approach and practices of cultural adaptation identified and implemented worldwide are also particularly relevant.


Proposals to be submitted can focus on the themes suggested below or on related topics:

  • Roles played by different actors in the fight against disinformation;
  • Perceptions of misinformation among different age groups and their interpretation;
  • Media Literacy practices in the fight against misinformation and their results;
  • Training teachers, journalists and other social actors in Media Literacy (face-to-face, distance, MOOC...);
  • Piloting of international, national or local guidelines to combat misinformation in various learning contexts;
  • Community projects on Media Literacy;
  • Innovative approaches to combat disinformation, such as algorithm literacy, app development and other resources targeting different segments.

European Commission. (2022). Guidelines for teachers and educators on tackling disinformation and promoting digital literacy through education and training. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/d81a0d54-5348-11ed-92ed-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

European Parliament (2022). Flash Eurobarometer News & Media Survey 2022. Survey conducted by Ipsos European Public Affairs, at the request of the Public Opinion Monitoring Unit, Directorate-General for Communication, European Parliament. Available at: https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2832

Frau-Meigs, D. (2022). How Disinformation Reshaped the Relationship between Journalism and Media and Information Literacy (MIL): Old and New Perspectives Revisited, Digital Journalism, 10:5, 912-922, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2022.2081863

Heath, C. (2021). Annotated Bibliography for Online Misinformation. Evidence for Democracy. Available at: https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/en/research/reports/annotated-bibliography-online-misinformation?fbclid=IwAR00hkSOe3lTtcg1n6eCdHIj6f1G2z2MbS8PsqkoOzWEHWkmqVybGvKEYkc

Hobbs, R. (25 October 2022). Teaching Media Literacy in Elementary and Secondary School. OECD Webinar "Why is media literacy so important for 21st century children?". Available at: https://www.facebook.com/100064368054456/videos/440949708172591

Lesher, M., Pawelec, H. and Desai, A. (2022). Disentangling untruths online: Creators, spreaders and how to stop them (Policy brief n 23). Paris: OECD https://doi.org/10.1787/84b62df1-en

Sádaba, C. e Salaverría, R. (2022). Combatir la desinformación con alfabetización mediática. Análisis de las tendencias en la Unión Europea. Revista latina de comunicación social, n. 81, pp. 17-33. https://doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2023-1552

This OBS Special Edition* is the result of the IBERIFIER - Iberian Media Research and Fact-checking Research Project, funded by the European Commission under the CEF-TC-2020-2 (European Digital Media Observatory) agreement with reference 2020-EU-IA-0252, coordinated by Professor Ramón Salaverría (University of Navarra, Spain).


Guest editors:

Charo Sádaba, Universidad de Navarra, Spain, and Vitor Tomé, ISCTE-IUL Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal.


Important dates

Interested authors should send an abstract (max. 300 words), in English, Portuguese or Spanish, and a brief bio (max. 70 words) to Guest Editors through email address vitor_manuel_tome@iscte-iul.pt before April 14th, 2023. Decisions on the proposals will be communicated by April 30th, 2023. Accepting a proposal does not guarantee the article acceptance. Deadline for the whole text’s submission is September 1st, 2023. All received articles will go under blind peer review process. The Special Issue will be published on February 2024.