JBV3010 Facts and Fiction Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Facts and Fiction
Study programme
Bachelorstudium i journalistikk
Year of study
FALL 2021
Programme description
Course history


"Fake news", propaganda, media manipulation and other forms of disinformation have dominated the media and political landscapes over the past few years. A major question is how journalists should respond to an increasingly complex media and information landscape, which questions factuality and traditional authorities of knowledge, such as journalism and academic research. In this course, students will learn how disinformation diffuses in society, how to detect it, and which methods of fact checking and source criticism can help journalists to counter disinformation.

Learning outcomes


The student has knowledge of

  • the role of fake news and other forms of disinformation in society
  • different methods of fact checking and source criticism
  • visual literacy
  • the role of legacy, social and alternative media in diffusions of disinformation
  • how to counter disinformation based on cognitive research



The student

  • can perform fact checking 
  • can critically reflect on concepts like disinformation and journalistic authority
  • has advanced skills in the critical assessment of sources 


General competence

The student

  • is competent in media and visual literacy
  • can critically reflect on the possibilities and limitations of journalism¿s role as a conveyer of facts and truths

Teaching and learning methods

The course is organized in gatherings of intensive tuition, with lectures, workshops, group presentations and discussions.

Course requirements

Participation during class sessions is mandatory. Students who have more than 20 percent absence from class sessions will have to hand in an additional assignment.  Students who have more than 25 percent absence from class sessions will  not be qualified to take the exam.

The coursework requirements consist of three obligatory assignments. Two of the assignments will be practical and one theoretical. The theoretical assignment will be an individual 3-4 pages discussion based on the course literature. The practical assignments will be conducted in groups. One will be an analytical study of disinformation with a group presentation of around 15 minutes, and the other a fact-checking exercise resulting in a group report of around 2-3 pages. The purpose of the assignments is to prepare the student for the exam. All three assignments must be handed in within the deadline and approved before the student can take the exam.

If the assignment is not approved, the student may hand in a new, improved version within a set deadline. In the event of illness or other documented absence for compelling reasons, special deadlines can be agreed with the lecturer. If a student fails to submit work within the deadline stipulated in the course plan or agreed with the lecturer, the assignment cannot be submitted, and the student will lose the right to take the exam.


Individual three days take home exam. Analytical paper (6-8 pages). Font and font size: Arial or Calibri 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5.The exam can be written in English or Norwegian. 

Permitted exam materials and equipment

No aids are permitted.

Grading scale

Grade scale A-F


The exam papers are assessed by one internal and one external examiner. At least 25% of the exam papers will be assessed by two examiners. The grades awarded for the papers assessed by two examiners form the basis for determining the level for all the exam papers..