Virtual activity: Strategic Communication to Counter Security Threats in the Disinformation Era – C3 URJC

Categories: CRESCEnt, Disinformation
Wishlist Share
Share Course
Page Link
Share On Social Media

About Course

C3 – June 14-18, 2021

The culture of communications is changing at a rapid pace, driven by the power of the internet and social networks. The digital communication environment, with its remarkable advantages and opportunities, also provides opportunities to different actors for conducting malicious influencing activities, divide societies, erode democratic values and sow distrust in our institutions. Users are encouraged to create personal echo chambers at the expense of information pluralism and to move away from reliable and credible news reporting and sound journalist analysis.

The virtual activity aims to increase the key knowledge and competencies of institutional spokespersons and journalists (including young professionals in journalism and related disciplines/areas) in the field of security and defence and in relation to strategic communication and news reporting on security threats.


  1. Monday 14/6. Synchronous activities by videoconference [9:00-13:45]
    • Virtual learning activity introduction. What is CRESCEnt?
    • Section 1. Evaluating Online Information: Logical Fallacies
    • Section 2. Spot the Fakes
    • Individual assignment for learners
  2. Tuesday 15/6. Synchronous activities by videoconference [9:00-11:00]
    • Section 3. New technologies and disinformation. The threat of deep fakes
    • Individual assignment for learners
  3. Wednesday 16/6. Self-pace activities
    • Section 4. Addressing the challenge of fake news, disinformation, and covert influence in the Digital Era
    • Individual assignment for learners
  4. Thursday 17/6. Self-pace activities 
    • Section 5. Advanced Analytic and Critical Thinking Toolkit
    • Individual assignment for learners
  5. Friday 18/6.  Self-pace activities and synchronous activities by videoconference
    • Section 6. Countering disinformation with professional and ethical journalism: hands-on hard news reporting and analysis journalism (Self-pace)
    • Individual assignment for learners
    • Final Virtual learning activity (Synchronous activities) [10:30-11:00]

See full Agenda

Note: All times are indicated in CET time (Central European Time)


Logo European Commision

Strategic partnership project within ERASMUS+ Program AGREEMENT NO. – 2018-1-RO01-KA202-049449 – The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Show More

What Will You Learn?

  • Analyze the key concepts related to communication processes: disinformation, misinformation, propaganda, covert influencing, digital active measures, strategic communication, and hybrid threats.
  • Acquire competencies and analytic tools in order to evaluate information sources and contents, and critically address the consumption of information in traditional media and social media channels.
  • Plan strategic communication campaigns with a particular focus on tackling security threats.
  • Understand the importance of sound and responsible journalist practices, and of bridging the gap between media professionals and institutional strategic communicators in case of security threats, for addressing the challenge of fakes news and deliberate disinformation activities.

About the instructors

Rubén Arcos
Professor of communication sciences at URJC and a member Ciberimaginario. He is co-founder and co-director of IntelHub, an international network for the study of intelligence. He is a freelance contributor to Jane’s Intelligence Review and Deputy Editor of The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs. Furthermore, he is a member of the Hybrid CoE's information expert pool.
Ileana-Cinziana Surdu
Researcher within the “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy, in Romania and holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Bucharest. She graduated various courses in the field of sociological research methods, critical thinking, and teaching techniques. In the last 11 years she worked on numerous projects with European and national funding, carrying out sociological research activities. Also, she has 7 years’ experience in teaching courses and seminars at BA level.
Giorgos Triantafyllou
A political scientist with expertise in international security and conflict analysis. He holds a PhD from the University of Kent (UK) and he is currently a member of KEMEA’s team on Radicalization, Violent Extremism and Terrorism.
Irena Chiru
Professor of intelligence studies at “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy Romania and the chair of the International Association for Intelligence Education – European Chapter. In the last 20 years, she has taught more than 200 scientific seminars and colloquia and given more than 30 educational talks on strategic communication and its impact on intelligence organizations. 
Cristina Ivan
Cristina Ivan is a researcher in security and intelligence studies. She holds a PhD in cultural studies from the University of Bucharest, where she has researched violent religious extremism in cultural productions within the British discursive space (2000-2010). Over the past 15 years she has specialized in the cultural study of violence, radicalization and terrorism, propaganda and disinformation, critical intelligence studies etc. 
Research Group Ciberimaginario
Research Group made up of more than 25 experts and professionals from Rey Juan Carlos University and Castilla la Mancha University in Spain. A research group with over 15 years of experience dedicated to investigate, innovate and develop solutions and products to improve communication processes and efficient training on digital environments, for different sectors and projects.
Manuel Gertrudix
Associate Professor of Digital Communication at the Rey Juan Carlos University, coordinator of the Cyberimaginary research group, and co-editor of the scientific journal Icono14. Specialist in digital communication and elearning he has participated in seventeen competitive national and international research projects. He has an extensive scientific production with more than 50 publications among research articles, book chapters and monographs.

Course Curriculum

Virtual learning activity introduction
What is Crescent? Virtual learning activity, objectives, outcomes, activities

Section 1. Evaluating Online Information: Logical Fallacies

  • CRESCEnt – Virtual learning activity C3 – S1 & S2
  • 02:00:00
  • 05:00
  • Principles of logical reasoning, judgement and types of evidence
  • Identifying and avoiding logical fallacies
  • CRESCEnt Advanced Analytic and Critical Thinking Toolkit

Section 2. Spot the Fakes

Section 3. New technologies and disinformation. The threat of deep fakes

Section 4. Addressing the challenge of fake news, disinformation, and covert influence in the Digital Era

  • Guest speaker lecture hosted by URJC: Stéphane M. Grueso
  • 10:00
  • The EUvsDisinfo project
  • Analysis and assessment of information campaigns as a part of hybrid threat influence operations
  • Security, Asymmetric Threats and Communication

Section 5. Advanced Analytic and Critical Thinking Toolkit

  • Guest speaker lecture hosted by MVNIA: Professor Alina Bârgaoanu
  • 05:00
  • Tips for video verification
  • Covert information warfare – Busted!

Section 6. Countering disinformation with professional and ethical journalism
Hands-on hard news reporting and analysis journalism

Conclusions and feedback. Farewell

  • CRESCEnt – Virtual learning activity C3 – S4
  • Impact evaluation Form – Virtual learning activities CRESCENT Final
  • Individual Assignments