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„Defending the truth in a post-truth era”, ECPMF Conference

June 13, 2017 - June 14, 2017

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is organising a conference about defending the truth in the era of “fake news” on 13 and 14 June. The event will take place in Leipzig, Germany.

International experts will present case studies about how to combat and deal with „fake news“ – from forged war pictures from Syria to the creation of myths in the French election campaign. They will introduce „elves“ from Lithuania who prevent „trolls“ from disseminating propaganda and smear campaigns in (social) media and the fact-checking tools for the verification of sources and pictures. From the EFJ, Camille Petit will be the speaker on European Federation of Journalists and Council of Europe initiative against self-censorship.

The conference is free of charge and it will be held in English. Applicants need to confirm their participation until June 5 via email to



DAY 1, Tuesday 13 June

13.45 Registration

14.00 Welcome by ECPMF’s Lutz Kinkel

14.10 – 14.30 Keynote: ”Lying press” (Lügenpresse) in Germany

EIJC researcher Martin Hoffmann presents ECPMF fact-finding missions 2015-17

14.30 – 15.15 Henrik Kaufholz moderates keynote debate (tbc)

15.15 – 15.30 Time for questions and comments from the floor

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee/tea break

16.00 – 17.45 Case studies and discussion

Moderation: Jane Whyatt (ECPMF)

  • Elves versus trolls – social media activists take down propaganda and fake news. Vaidas Saidziunas (DELFI) tells how NATO and the Kremlin are at war in your Facebook feed.
  • Fake news in the Czech Republic and Slovakia – Lucie Sykorova, journalist from Pilsen and SNE editor Beata Balagova from Bratislava
  • Fake news about Syria: James Harkin, The Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, UK, presents his research + Airwars researcher Eline Westra, Amsterdam, Netherlands, revealing the shocking truth about civilian casualties of European bombing in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Hoaxmap – Karolin Schwarz, Berlin, Germany, presents her crowdsourced fact-checking project , de-bunking lies that are circulated about refugees

18.00 – 20.00 Networking reception for all participants with drinks and finger food, roof terrace Ringcafé.


DAY 2, Wednesday 14 June

09.30-10.30 Conference plenary with case studies and podium discussion
Moderation:  ECPMF chair Henrik Kaufholz

  • Distortions and propaganda – fact checking project in the French election campaign (First Draft News cross check project)
  • European Federation of Journalists and Council of Europe initiative against self-censorship – Camille Petit, EFJ Brussels, Belgium
  • Lie Detectors – media literacy project Juliane von Ruppert Bismarck

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break and networking

11:00 – 12:00

Truly media – Jochen Spangenburg will talk about user-generated content as an information resource, and the misinformation ecosystem in general. He will point to existing practices, strategies and approaches, and consider pitfalls as well as ways forward. His focus will be on demonstrating Truly.Media, a tool for collaborative verification of UGC, that is currently in beta testing status. Truly.Media is partly based on and includes insights from the European research projects REVEAL and InVID, which will also be portrayed.

12.00 – 12.15 Prof Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent University) and Ides Debruyne (journalismfund) present Manifesto on Fake News (comments are welcome beforehand!

12.15 – 12.30 Summary by ECPMF Managing Director Lutz Kinkel, call to media freedom community to defend truth and expose fake news throughout Europe

12.30 – 13.30 Networking lunch

13.45 End


June 13, 2017
June 14, 2017




Leipzig, Germany + Google Map