Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society

ISBN: 978-1-80043-907-8, eISBN: 978-1-80043-906-1

Publication date: 8 July 2021


(2021), "Prelims", Grech, A. (Ed.) Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society (Digital Activism and Society: Politics, Economy And Culture In Network Communication), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Alex Grech. Published by Emerald Publishing under an exclusive licence

Half Title Page

Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society

Series Title Page

Digital Activism and Society: Politics, Economy and Culture in Network Communication

The Digital Activism and Society: Politics, Economy and Culture in Network Communication series focuses on the political use of digital everyday-networked media by corporations, governments, international organizations (Digital Politics), as well as civil society actors, NGOs, activists, social movements and dissidents (Digital Activism) attempting to recruit, organise and fund their operations, through information communication technologies.

The series publishes books on theories and empirical case studies of digital politics and activism in the specific context of communication networks. Topics covered by the series include, but are not limited to:

  • the different theoretical and analytical approaches of political communication in digital networks;

  • studies of socio-political media movements and activism (and ‘hacktivism’);

  • transformations of older topics such as inequality, gender, class, power, identity and group belonging;

  • strengths and vulnerabilities of social networks.

Series Editor

Dr Athina Karatzogianni

About the Series Editor

Dr Athina Karatzogianni is an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, UK. Her research focuses on the intersections between digital media theory and political economy, in order to study the use of digital technologies by new sociopolitical formations.

Published Books in this Series

Digital Materialism: Origins, Philosophies, Prospects by Baruch Gottlieb

Nirbhaya, New Media and Digital Gender Activism by Adrija Dey

Digital Life on Instagram: New Social Communication of Photography by Elisa Serafinelli

Internet Oligopoly: The Corporate Takeover of Our Digital World by Nikos Smyrnaios

Digital Activism and Cyberconflicts in Nigeria: Occupy Nigeria, Boko Haram and MEND by Shola A. Olabode

Platform Economics: Rhetoric and Reality in the “Sharing Economy” by Cristiano Codagnone

Communication as Gesture: Media(tion), Meaning, & Movement by Michael Schandorf

Forthcoming Titles

Chinese Social Media: Face, Sociality, and Civility by Shuhan Chen and Peter Lunt

Title Page

Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society: From Fake News, Datafication and Mass Surveillance to the Death of Trust

Edited by

Alex Grech

The 3CL Foundation and the University of Malta, Malta

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

Editorial matter and selection copyright © Alex Grech, 2021. Chapter 8, “Fact to Fake: The Media World as It Was and Is Today” copyright © Michael Bugeja, 2021. Published by Emerald Publishing under an exclusive licence. Remaining chapters copyright © Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021.

Reprints and permissions service


No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters' suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80043-907-8 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-906-1 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-908-5 (Epub)


For Liz and Jacob, who keep me sane in troubled times. Soon, we will find our way back to some hilltop town with a trattoria and a well-thumbed menu with no translation.

About the Contributors

Bryan Alexander is an internationally known Futurist, Researcher, Writer, Speaker, Consultant, and Teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. He is currently a Senior Scholar at Georgetown University and teaches graduate seminars in their Learning, Design and Technology program.

Abeer Al-Najjar is an Associate Professor of Media and Journalism Studies at the American University of Sharjah. She has published two books and several articles and chapters on media, gender and religion; media framing of political conflict and war; and journalistic ethics and practices.

Walter Fernando Balser is an Instructor in Organizational Leadership at the University of Denver and the University of South Florida. His scholarship focuses on applying leadership orientations and processes more aligned with rapid decentralization of knowledge in society. He is also the Founder of the Open Partnership Education Network.

Devraj Basu is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at Strathclyde Business School. He has researched equity markets, commodity markets, alternative investments, and fintech and data analytics as applied to markets, including projects on precision timing into blockchain clearing and on analyzing markets using topological data analysis.

Ruben Brave, Co-founder of Make Media Great Again, is a Dutch Internet Pioneer, Media Professional, and Technology, Media, and Telecom Entrepreneur with a focus on social entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he is the Founder of academic business incubator for funding and guidance regarding startups in media, automation, health, and lifelong learning.

Michael Bugeja, a distinguished Professor of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and is the author of Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine (Oxford Univ. Press, 2018) and Living Media Ethics (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2019).

Steve Diasio is a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of South Florida. Steve's contributions include extending the open innovation paradigm through his investigation with IBM Innovation Jams. Steve argues that open innovation is relevant beyond products/services and through technology can support decision-making.

John Domingue, KMi Director at the Open University, has published over 280 refereed articles. John's current work focuses on how a combination of blockchain and Linked Data technologies can be used to process personal data in a decentralized trusted manner and its application in the educational domain.

Hossein Derakhshan is a Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics and Political Sciences. As a pioneer of blogging, podcasts, and tech journalism in Iran, he spent six years in prison there over his writings and activism since 2008. His research has been focused on mass personalization, platforms, information disorder, and journalism.

Joshua Ellul is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Malta and Director of the Centre for Distributed Ledger Technologies and Chairperson of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.

Massimiliano Fusari is an Academic Scholar and results-driven Digital Strategist in the Analysis and Production of Visual Storytelling. Alongside his academic teaching at the University of Westminster (UK), Massimiliano delivers bespoke training for UN agencies, governments, and third-sector institutions. Currently developing the mobile app MIA – The Meta-Image – to enhance specific hands-on competencies on visual storytelling formats.

Murdoch Gabbay has spent 20 years teaching the Mathematical Foundations of Computing and, most recently, Blockchain. He has written extensively on subjects including abstract algebra, the design of high-performance programming languages, and blockchain technologies and smart contracts.

Alex Grech is a Strategist and Change Consultant. He is the Executive Director of the 3CL Foundation and teaches new media at the University of Malta.

Daniel Hughes is a Computational Phenomenologist who has spent most of his life building companies.

Taylor Kendal is an Educator, Writer, Designer, and Chief Program Officer at Learning Economy. His work with the US Department of Education, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and Library of Congress has led to a complex love affair with legacy institutions, innovation, design, and (de)centralized networks.

Phillip D. Long is a Senior Scholar at Georgetown University's Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, a Special Advisor to the CIO & Faculty Affiliate at ASU, and Community Manager for the T3 Innovation Network's LER Pilot Initiative. Former Academic Technology Strategists at MIT. His works focus on distributed ledgers, digital credentials, and systems offering individual agency.

Ġorġ Mallia is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Media and Communications, University of Malta. He researches primarily in the areas of instructional technology, transfer of learning, new media impacts, personal communications, and graphic narrative and storytelling.

Soudeh Oladi is a Lecturer and Researcher at that Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her scholarship focuses on equity, decolonizing education, as well as spirituality in education.

Gordon J. Pace is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Malta. His research focuses on means to ensure that computer systems work as expected, particularly in FinTech and RegTech. Recently, he has worked on frameworks and tools to improve dependability of blockchain systems.

Harry Anthony Patrinos is the Practice Manager for the Europe and Central Asia regions of the World Bank's education practice. He specializes in the economic benefits of schooling, quality of education, school-based management, and public-private partnerships. He has many publications (more than 50 journal articles) in academic and policy literature.

Emma Pauncefort is a Learning Science Practitioner with a background in literacy criticism and cultural history. Through the work of her UK-based education consultancy, Dilectae, and its headline initiative The Critical Literacy Project™, her vision is to empower learners with connected and critical lifelong learning toolkits.

John P. Portelli is a Professor at the University of Toronto where he teaches in the Departments of Social Justice Education, Leadership, and Higher and Adult Education. He is also a Policy Advisor at the Ministry for Education and Employment, Malta, and the Chair of the Board of 3CL.

Toni Sant is the Director of the Digital Curation Lab at MediaCityUK with the University of Salford's School of Arts and Media and also a Founding Member of the Wikimedia Foundation-affiliated user group Wikimedia Community Malta. In 2020, he became the first Malta-based Wikipedian in Residence.

Natalie Smolenski is an Anthropologist and Political Theorist who writes about Contemporary Transformations in Governance and Political Economy. She examines how structures of human subjectivity contribute to the constitution of knowledge that holds.

Allan Third is a Research Fellow at the Open University, working on the exchange of meaning and trust in decentralized platforms, with a strong focus on Healthcare, Education, and Internet of Things applications and a particular interest in Linked Data and blockchain technologies for social justice.

Anna Topolska is a Historian of Eastern Europe focused on visual studies and a Polish-English translator of texts in the humanities. She is currently working on her first book Memory and Visuality. Representations of the Second World War in Poznań, Poland in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Lina Zuluaga is a Teaching Fellow at the Data Wise Harvard's project and leads the initiative Rebuilding Human Capital Post-Covid at Georgetown University. In 2018, the US Department of Education recognized her TalentoLab's standard methodology for cities and universities as one of the top 25 global innovations reshaping the connection between employment and education by using data analytics and blockchain certifications.


To the following people, thank you!

All the authors in the collection, for their patience and grace.

Speakers and delegates at the “Understanding the Post-Truth Conference,” particularly those who traveled to a small island in October 2019 on a whim, remain in touch in the belief that the pandemic is another reason for repurposing education, media, and technology for the public good.

Courtnie Bonett, for working her way through checklists galore, formatting and getting this book across the finishing line.

Athina Karatzogianni, for telling me to get this book done. And those Facebook updates!

Evarist Bartolo, for quietly supporting The 3CL Foundation from its inception.

John Portelli and Joe Cauchi, for conversations and their knowledge of the fine art of quiet subversion.

Kirk Perris, for reading the first proposal for the book and making very valuable suggestions.

Dan Hughes, for introducing me to the blockchain, and Natalie Smolenski, for deconstructing self-sovereign identity like nobody else can.

The good people at Emerald.

Chapter 1 Introduction to Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society Introduction
Part 1 Repurposing Education for the Post-truth Society
Chapter 2 Post-truth Society: Toward a Dialogical Understanding of Truth
Chapter 3 Macroauthorities and Microliteracies: The New Terrain of Information Politics
Chapter 4 The Learning Challenge in the Twenty-first Century
Chapter 5 The Pretruth Era in MENA, News Ecology, and Critical News Literacy
Chapter 6 Critical Literacy Is at the Heart of the Answer
Chapter 7 Societal Reorientation via Programmable Trust: A Case for Piloting New Models of Open Governance in Education
Part 2 Repurposing Media for the Post-truth Society
Chapter 8 Fact to Fake: The Media World as It Was and Is Today
Chapter 9 Post-news Journalism in the Post-Enlightenment Era
Chapter 10 How Can Wikipedia Save Us all?: Assuming Good Faith from all Points of View in the Age of Fake News and Post-truth
Chapter 11 Public Rebuttal, Reflection and Responsibility. Or an Inconvenient Answer to Fake News
Chapter 12 The Kony 2012 Campaign: A Milestone of Visual Storytelling for Social Engagement
Chapter 13 Post-truth Visuals, Untruth Visuals
Chapter 14 Reflections on the Visual Truth and War Photography: A Historian's Perspective
Chapter 15 It Is Time for Journalists to Save Journalism
Part 3 Future-proofing for the Post-truth Society
Chapter 16 Karl Marx and the Blockchain
Chapter 17 Two Sides to Every Story. The Truth, Post-truth, and the Blockchain Truth
Chapter 18 Decentralised Verification Technologies and the Web
Chapter 19 How Do We Know What Is True?
Chapter 20 Social Technologies and Their Unplanned Obsolescence