2023 Student Journalism Award, Portfolio: Student Team finalist


About the Project

Disinformation, scams and propaganda are among the most critical problems of our time, with economic costs in the billions and deadly consequences for public health. The flood of unreliable information, which we have dubbed ‘the infodemic,’ has fueled distrust and division, threatening our society and democracy. But how do we take action, fight back, and protect ourselves from being manipulated?

That was the quest for a nearly yearlong exploration of these topics by dozens of Syracuse University students resulting in Infodemic, a multimedia-rich and in-depth look at how these threats affect our college campuses, cities and country.

We started in the summer 2022, reporting on the information vacuum in local communities of color and how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has increased disinformation on women’s reproductive health and other timely stories. Then we developed pieces over the course of the school year, including the impact of exploitative true crime media; the mechanisms behind phone scams and email phishing; and stories about banned books, deep fakes and AI, greenwashing, school ranking and many others.

The 30 stories developed into interactive and visually stunning presentations thanks to the talents of dozens of more photographers, videographers, illustrators and designers. A team of social media producers orchestrated a promotional plan across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.