Technische Universität Ilmenau

Swindler, liar, storyteller. Journalism in the post truth era - Modultafeln of TU Ilmenau

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subject properties Swindler, liar, storyteller. Journalism in the post truth era in major Master Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Media and Communication Science 2013
subject number101781
examination number2500395
departmentDepartment of Economic Sciences and Media
ID of group 25 (Fakultät für Wirschaftswissenschaften und Medien)
subject leaderProf. Dr. Claus-Erich Boetzkes
term ganzjährig
credit points10
on-campus program (h)67
self-study (h)233
Obligationobligatory elective
examalternative examination performance
details of the certificate

Oral presentations, Power Point Presentations, final scientific paper

Signup details for alternative examinations
maximum number of participants30
previous knowledge and experience

Good language skills in English and German in order to receive information from German or US-American sources and to interview people jointed with the topic “fake news”. Participants should be able to independent investigation.

learning outcome

Students learn to search, select, understand, structure and evaluate information obtained from newspapers, TV and research literature. They learn also to interview protagonists for research. They learn to design and realize a research project and analyze the obtained data.


The career of the term “fake news” can be traced, so the American journalist Sharyl Attkisson, to September 13, 2016 – the last eight weeks of the Clinton vs. Trump presidential campaign, with the announcement that a group named 'First Draft' were forming a partner network to tackle "malicious hoaxes and fake news reports." Today we know that during the election campaign many stories with faked content were published. Meanwhile it seems the world will be flooded with lies and untrue information. A great fake news scandal was debunked in December 2018. Claas Relotius, a reporter of the German News magazine “DER SPIEGEL”, wrote many faked stories. Some of them were entirely false. However, fake news is not only the entirely false story, but also the misinformation hidden in the little data we consume every day. In our research module we’ll try to find out who is behind fake news. We look at the motivation for spreading fake news and for ways of identifying such material. And we’ll create faked stories by ourselves in order to better understand topics and structure of fake news.

media of instruction
literature / references
evaluation of teaching