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"Put on your fact-checking glasses first, then share!"

Chemnitz University of Technology graduate Victoria Graul takes aim at false news in her new podcast "Digga Fake"

The current corona pandemic is a steep learning curve, especially for fake news producers. Several fake news items are circulating on the Internet and spreading like wildfire in social networks and via messenger services. "But with all this flood of information, how are you supposed to keep track of things and distinguish real from fake?" asked Victoria Graul, who received a Master's degree in European Integration from Chemnitz University of Technology and is now working in the media industry. The young woman, who now lives in Hanover, is answering these questions herself. In her podcast "Digga Fake - Fake News and Fact-Checking," Graul regularly meets experts from various fields. Together they explain contexts - instructive, user-oriented and entertaining. Among other things, they explain how to recognise populist slogans, what makes emotionalising news so dangerous, and why technically generated fakes are difficult to see through.

"The podcast is particularly suitable for teenagers and young adults," says Graul. The language and presentation is relaxed, and further material is presented on the social media platform Instagram on the @diggafake account. "If we want to contain the spread of fake news, we must bring a perspective change into handling digital media," says the Chemnitz graduate. Therefore she advises everyone who is usually quick to click the share button – Put your fact-checking glasses on, then share! And whoever uncovers a fake news item should better send a message to the sender of the message: "That way you can break the chain of spreading the fake news."

After her studies, which she completed in December 2013, Graul volunteered at the Leipziger Volkszeitung and then worked as an online editor at the Freie Presse in Chemnitz and the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland RND (Madsack Media Group) in Hanover. "Every day I had to deal with fake news in the news business," she recalls. Today this experience benefits her in her journalistic work.

In her latest podcast episode, Graul meets her friend Martin Berke from her time at university in Chemnitz, with whom she regularly exercised the audience’s smiles in the student cabaret "MehrTUerer." Today Berke is a professional performer in Chemnitz and still has the interests of the young people in mind. Both chat about satire, language and deception, and how sarcasm in commentary should be formulated in such a way that it remains understandable.

Podcast "Digga Fake - Fake News and Fact Checking": (german only)

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)


Matthias Fejes

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