Postdoc and Coordinator, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Centre on Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation; imec-SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology)
Tom Willaert is the coordinator of EDMO BELUX and a postdoctoral researcher in digital methods at the Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation (CD2I) of the Brussels School of Governance and imec-SMIT at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Building on a background in humanities scholarship, Tom develops and uses computational methods for text analysis in order to study (dis)information in online media. For an overview of Tom’s projects and publications, see this web page.
Expertise: Information Science, Digital Methods, Digital Humanities, (Dis)Information
Professor in Digital Governance and Participation, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Centre on Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation
Trisha Meyer is Assistant Professor in Digital Governance and Participation at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Professorial Fellow at United Nations University CRIS in Bruges. Trisha leads the Research Centre on Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation at VUB Brussels School of Governance. Trisha researches the regulatory push toward and societal consequences of tech platforms taking proactive (and automated) measures to moderate content. A second closely related research strand pertains to stakeholder engagement and participatory governance in digital policy. She co-authored a study on use of AI to tackle disinformation for the European Parliament (2019) and a study mapping global responses to disinformation for UNESCO/ITU (2020). Trisha is the principal investigator of the EDMO BELUX project.
Expertise: Digital Policy, Platform Responsibility, Freedom Of Expression, Artificial Intelligence
Professor in Media and Journalism Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, imec-SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology)
Ike Picone is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Brussel in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Solvay Business School. He leads the research unit on Journalism, Trust and Participation at research group imec-SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology). Ike studies news use practices within the broad field of journalism studies. He is particularly interested in disruptions on the crossroad of journalism, technological innovations and democracy. He co-authored two studies for the Hannah Arendt Institute on online polarisation and how prevention workers can deal with it at a local level. Ike is the co-promotor of the EDMO BELUX project.
Expertise: News Use, Audience Studies, Journalism Studies, News Repertoires, Digital Media
Professor in Global Communication and Ethics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Centre on Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation
Georgios Terzis is Associate Professor in Communication at Brussels School of Governance of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He did postdoctoral research at University of Pennsylvania and University of Oxford on media and security, he received his Ph.D. in Communication Science from the Katholieke Universiteit Brussel, and he studied Journalism and Mass Communication in Greece, UK, USA and The Netherlands. His research focuses on media and security, research and media ethics, media and governance, development journalism and communication, participatory communication, fake news, media literacy, risk and crisis communication, science communication, science diplomacy and international academic cooperation, the role of art and culture in conflict resolution, and cultural diplomacy.
He has been teaching and doing research in communication departments of many universities for more than 25 years. He has been involved in more than 20 international research projects and networks. He is also the founding Chair of the Journalism Studies Section of the European Communication Research and Education Association, and has been working as a reviewer for most of the major publishing houses and journals in the communication science field, as well as for the European Commission and the Council of Europe.
Expertise: Disinformation, Media Literacy, Media And Conflict, Media Governance, Journalism
Professor in Political Communication, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Centre on Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation
Jonas Lefevere is Assistant Professor in Political Communication in the Research Centre on Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation at Brussels School of Governance of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research interests focus on political communication, in particular the role of media and party communication in election times, the role of media in determining electoral outcomes, and the strategic communication of political elites. He is also co-founder of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Communication, where he is currently a member of the Steering Committee.
Within EDMO BELUX, Jonas is involved in the study of the impact of disinformation, and coordinates the quantitative surveys that investigate to what extent people are exposed to, and believe in, disinformation.
Expertise: Political Communication, Issue Competition, Disinformation
Project Manager, AFP
Jocelyne Zablit is an AFP journalist with more than three decades of professional experience. She is currently leading several projects in Europe focused on factchecking and disinformation. She has managed several AFP bureaus during her career at AFP. Her most recent posting was as Bureau Chief for the US West Coast based in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was Head of the AFP English Europe/Africa Desk, AFP Bureau Chief in Beirut and European Affairs Correspondent then Lifestyle Editor in Washington.
Staff member Disinformation, Polarization and Online Hate, Mediawijs
Bert Pieters works for Mediawijs, the Flemish knowledge centre for digital and media literacy. He has built up a large expertise on representation in the media and polarization/radicalization, visual literacy, propaganda and conspiracy thinking. In recent years he has mainly experimented with ways of teaching about propaganda and conspiracy thinking. He was the driving force behind the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe in Flanders and worked on various online training courses about disinformation and polarization at schools. He is also one of the forces behind medianest.be, the website on media parenting.
Expertise: Media Literacy Education, Media Parenting, Polarization, Online Learning
Staff Member News and Disinformation, Mediawijs
Zara Mommerency works for Mediawijs, the Flemish knowledge centre for digital and media literacy. With a background in History and in Journalism, her main interest and expertise lay in news- and information literacy. The last 2 years, she has been working on online training courses for teachers and for adolescents on polarization, (online) manipulation, (online) identity and factchecking. She’s also in charge of the content for the website of Mediawijs.be. Within EDMO BELUX, she contributes to the collection of the best media literacy materials on disinformation, she will organize media literacy training events and implement a campaign on how to tackle disinformation.
Expertise: News, Disinformation, Propaganda, Polarization
Postdoctoral Researcher, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, Engage – Research Center for Publicness in Contemporary Communication
Victor Wiard is Postdoctoral Researcher in media and communication studies. He completed a doctoral thesis (ULB/VUB) on the production and circulation of local news in Brussels. His research interests include news production and reception online and on social media platforms. He has been involved in multiple research projects, including MEDIA CLUSTERS BRUSSELS and ALG-OPINION, which studied the influence of algorithms and interfaces on opinion formation. Within EDMO BELUX, he contributes to the monitoring of the financial viability of the news media sector in Belgium and Luxembourg and analyses the impact of disinformation campaigns on society and democracy. As a Belgian French-speaking partner, he also contributes to the development of the EDMO BELUX hub itself.
Expertise: Social Media; Digital Media; News Reception; Algorithms; Qualitative Research
Professor, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, Engage – Research Center for Publicness in Contemporary Communication
Geoffroy Patriarche is Professor at Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (USL-B) where he teaches media and communication theory, user and audience studies, and social-history of the media. He serves as one of the two programme coordinators of the MA in Communication Strategy and Digital Culture (co-organized by ISFSC and USL-B). Geoffroy is also Co-Director of Engage – Research Centre for Publicness in Contemporary Communication, which is the research centre for media and communication studies at USL-B. His main research interests touch upon the discursive and socio-political aspects of digital communication, with a focus on how user and audience practices relate to the constitution of the public sphere(s). Within EDMO BELUX, Geoffroy is involved in the development of the hub as well as in a research project on the impact of disinformation campaigns on society and democracy.
Expertise: Digital Media, Public Sphere, Discourse, Audience Studies
Executive Director, EU DisinfoLab
Alexandre Alaphilippe is Executive Director and co-founder of EU DisinfoLab. Since 2017, he has coordinated work on some of the organisation’s largest investigations into Information Operations linked to Russia, India and China, and is a member of a number of working groups in Brussels and Washington DC linked to platform regulation, transatlantic relations, and hybrid threats, where he emphasises the role of civil society in maintaining democratic values. He has published papers for the Brookings Institution and his work has been featured on CNN, BBC, Le Monde and Politico.
Project and Communications Manager, EU DisinfoLab
Heini Järvinen is Project and Communications Manager at EU DisinfoLab. She is a multidisciplinary communications specialist with more than a decade of experience in strategic communications, graphic design and layouts, social media, content writing and editing, media relations, as well as privacy-friendly and secure digital communications tools and practices. She is in charge of the dissemination work of EDMO BELUX communication activities and events.
Expertise: Communications, graphic design, social media, writing, editing, privacy-friendly and secure digital communications
Maria Giovanna Sessa
Senior Researcher, EU DisinfoLab
Maria Giovanna Sessa is Senior Researcher at EU DisinfoLab. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and is an experienced researcher, consultant, and teaching assistant. Her research interests focus on disinformation in political communication, gender-based attacks, and international crises.
Expertise: Political Communication, Gendered Disinformation, Infodemic, Information War, Discourse Analysis
Project Manager, EU DisinfoLab
Oleh Shchuryk holds a position of Project Manager at EU DisinfoLab, where he is responsible for several EU funded projects in the domain of open-source investigation and counter disinformation. Previously, he was Senior Project Manager – Mobility & Innovation at FACTUAL Consulting Barcelona, where he was responsible for several EU financed projects in logistics, urban (micro)mobility as well as preparation of several training programmes for Autonomous Vehicles, Electric Busses and Mobility & Digitalisation. Before that, he worked as Manager Research & Innovation Department at IRU, International Road Transport Union where he oversaw several international projects in freight transport. Formerly, he worked for ECG – the Association of European Vehicle Logistics, where he run several profiles related to rail and road transport. Alongside, he worked for the European Commission’s as an independent expert in evaluation of socio-cultural project proposals under the FP7 and Horizon 2020 frameworks. Oleh holds a PhD degree and several MAs from KU Leuven Belgium.
Coordinateur Des Formations / Training Coordinator, Média Animation
Diplômé en information et communication de l’Université de Louvain-la-Neuve (2012), les activités de Martin Culot concernent principalement la formation continuée des adultes (enseignants, animateurs, intervenants éducatifs) dont il coordonne le pôle au sein de l’asbl Média Animation. Aussi Martin intervient sur des projets européens et collabore à l’écriture d’outils et ressources pédagogiques (recherche-action, analyse, fiches) en éducation aux médias. Il collabore également aux travaux du conseil supérieur de l’éducation aux médias (CSEM) dont il est membre.
Graduated in information and communication from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (2012), Martin Culot’s activities mainly concern the continuing trainings of adults (teachers, animators, educational workers) whose pole he coordinates within the association Media Animation. Martin is also involved in European projects and collaborate in the writing of educational tools and resources (research-action, analysis, files) in media education. He also collaborates in the work of the higher council for media education (CSEM), of which he is a member.
Expertise: La Critique De L’information (Médias Traditionnels, Fake News, Théories Du Complot), La Place Du Jeu Vidéo Dans La Culture. Information Criticism (Traditional Media, Fake News, Conspiracy Theories), Place Of Video Games In Culture
Chloé Tran Phu
Chargée de Mission en Éducation Aux Médias / Project Manager, Média Animation
Après un master en langues et littératures romanes et sémiologie (ULiège), Chloé Tran Phu a été professeure de français et référente numérique dans l’enseignement qualifiant et professionnel. Elle a également donné un cours de littérature populaire en formation pour adultes. Depuis 2021, Chloé est chargée de mission au sein de Média Animation. Son travail consiste à former et soutenir les enseignants en éducation aux médias et à intervenir dans l’écriture d’outils pédagogiques et de publications.
After a master’s degree in Romance languages and literatures and semiology (ULiège), Chloé Tran Phu was a French teacher and digital referent in qualifying and professional education. She also gave a popular literature course in adult education. Since 2021, Chloé is Project Manager at Média Animation. Her job is to train and support teachers in media education and to intervene in the writing of educational tools and publications.
Expertise: Approche Critique De La Culture Populaire Médiatique, Représentation De Genre Dans Les Médias, Expressions Des Jeunes. Critical Approach To Popular Media Culture, Gender Representation In The Media, Youth Expressions
Executive Director (FR: Directeur), CSEM – Conseil Supérieur de l’Education aux Médias (Higher Council for Media Education) – Ministry of the Brussels Wallonia Federation in Belgium
Patrick Verniers’ professional experiences led him to teach media education through the creation and coordination of the first Master’s degree in media education at the Institut des Hautes Ecoles des Communications Sociales in Brussels (IHECS), in co-diplomation with Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve (UCLouvain), between 2013 and 2020. As an author and co-author of educational resources specializing in media education, Patrick has experience in training adults, teachers and youth workers. As a guest lecturer at the UCLouvain School of Communication (for over 15 years), he has taught various courses in socio-educational communication.
Patrick is coordinator and initiator of several European and international media education projects and networks, and as such, has been member of the European Commission’s media education expert group (MLEG) since 2008 and has carried out several expert missions for the Council of Europe. He participated in the creation of the International Association for Media Education, for which he is an administration board member.
Expertise: Media Literacy, Media Effects, International Cooperation, Network, Higher Education
Paul de Theux
President, CSEM – Conseil Supérieur de l’Education aux Médias (Higher Council for Media Education) – Ministry of the Brussels Wallonia Federation in Belgium
Appointed in 2020 as president of the Higher Council for Media Education (CSEM) for a 5-year term, he is director of Media Animation, a media education resource centre recognized and subsidized by the ministries of education and culture of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The centre is specialised in the fields of applied research, training, information and educational resources for teachers, adults, social workers and education professionals.
His professional experiences have led him to teach media education as a guest lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain and as a guest professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales (IHECS) in Brussels. Author and co-author of educational resources specializing in media education, he has experience in training adults, teachers and youth workers. He also participated in the creation of the International Association for Media Education (IAME) for which he is an administration board member.
Expertise: Media Literacy, Long Life Learning, Education, Communication, International Relations
Research Project Manager, Athens Technology Center
Danae Tsabouraki holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Sociology of Law from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA), as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). She has been practicing law since 2012, mainly in the fields of civil and corporate law (intellectual property, data protection, contracts, competition law, etc.). Danae has been working at the ATC Innovation Lab since 2011 as Junior Researcher and since 2018 as Project Manager in EU R&D funded projects, with a focus on the media sector and disinformation. She is currently involved among others in the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) as operations consultant. Her interests lie among others in the areas of socio-legal research in response to technological innovations, online content regulation, AI technologies for the media sector, and disinformation. Danae is a member of the Athens Bar Association.
Expertise: Law, Online Content Regulation, Project Management
Project Manager, Athens Technology Center
Nikos Papapolizos is Project Manager at the ATC Innovation Lab. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government & Politics and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Essex, UK. He has worked for over 15 years as Project Manager and Content Manager of web portals and collaborated with various companies as social media consultant and community manager. At ATC he is involved in online research projects and in activities related to content and web management.
Expertise: Online Content Management, Project Management, Social Media
Laurens Van de Voorde
Educational Coordinator, StampMedia
Laurens Van de Voorde works as Educational Coordinator for youth media organisation StampMedia. StampMedia’s mission is to improve young people’s media literacy. One of the ways the organisation achieves this mission is by teaching in schools to raise awareness about disinformation and how to tackle it. StampMedia’s expertise about young people’s news literacy is often consulted by teachers, youth workers, media and other instances. In 2022, StampMedia is working together with Mediawijs to create a new lesson package on factchecking for teenagers in third and fourth grade (14 – 16 years old).
Expertise: News literacy – Teaching – Youth work – Disinformation – Conspiracy narratives
Investigative Journalist, Apache
Hind Fraihi is an investigative reporter and author of Undercover in Klein-Marokko (En immersion à Molenbeek, l’enquête que aurait dû nous alerter). She covers and researches islamic extremism and far right extremism.
Expertise: Islamic Extremism, Far Right, Polarisation, Radicalisation
Lead (Fact-Checking Knack) and Managing Director (deCheckers), Knack Magazine and deCheckers vzw
Jan Jagers is a Belgian freelance journalist. He has worked for Knack Magazine since 2007, developed its Factcheck section since 2012 and leads the Factcheck editorial team since 2020. He is also Managing Director of deCheckers, a non-profit and cross-media border collaboration against disinformation. He holds a PhD in political science and is affiliated with Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).
Expertise: Fact-Checking, Journalism, Cross-Border Collaboration
Senior Researcher, University of Luxembourg
Raphaël Kies is Senior Researcher at University of Luxembourg. He holds his PhD from the European University Institute. He is interested in deliberative democracy, electoral studies, democratic innovations, political system in Luxembourg and media studies. He is the founder of the Luxembourgish Platform of Participatory Democracy (PLDP.lu). He has contributed to implement and review several democratic innovations in Luxembourg and abroad. Among them, the European Citizens Consultation (in 2007 and 2009), the voting advice applications Smartwielen.lu (since 2009) the Klimat Biergerrot (2022). In the field of the media, he is the in charge of the national Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) the project MEDIALUX and he is a member of the board of directors of Luxembourg public radio (radio 100.7).
Expertise: Deliberative Democracy, Electoral Studies, Democratic Innovations, Political System In Luxembourg And Media Studies
Chief Operating Officer / Chief Technical Officer, Lead Stories LLC
Maarten is the co-founder of fact checking website leadstories.com and the inventor of Trendolizer, a tool used by several fact checking organizations to find viral content online.
Expertise: Fact Checking, Viral Media, Trend Detection, Debunking
Co-director of the UCLouvain Observatory for Research on Media and journalism (ORM), UCLouvain (ORM)
Grégoire Lits is Assistant Professor of sociology at the Institute for Language and Communication and also Co-Director of the Research Observatory on Media and Journalism at UCLouvain. His research focuses on the circulation of information in society and public spaces. His most recent publications centre on the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated ‘infodemic’. He is co-coordinator of the Innoviris funded project PANDORX that analyses the circulation of health information in Brussels during the Covid-19 crisis (https://www.pandorix.be/).
Expertise: Sociology, Disinformation, Science Society Interface, Public Sphere, Social Problems
General Secretary, AGJPB
Martine Simonis is National Secretary of AGJPB (Belgian Union of Journalists) since 1992 and Secretary General of AJP (French and German-speaking Belgium) since its creation in 1998. A lawyer specialised in labour law, she currently practices media and copyright law.
Expertise: Journalism – Ethics – Press freedom – Gender
Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck
Lie Detectors Founder and Executive Director, Lie Detectors
Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck is the founder and Executive Director of Lie Detectors, an award-winning organisation that works with more than 250 professional journalists to promote critical media literacy among schoolchildren and teachers. She directs Lie Detectors’ development and strategy and designed its concept and training approach. Juliane advises national and international institutions on anti-radicalisation and literacy in an age of media pluralism, including within the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Digital Disinformation and Fake News and Expert Group on Tackling Disinformation and Promoting Digital Literacy through Education and Training on behalf of Lie Detectors. To create Lie Detectors, Juliane put aside an award-winning journalism career, during which she wrote for The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Reuters, MLex and Spiegel Online among others, reporting from Europe and the US as well as from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Arctic. She is an alumna of New York City’s Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Edinburgh and speaks German, English, Spanish and French.
Lie Detectors is an award-winning journalist-led media-literacy campaign in Europe. The non-profit organisation works with more than 250 professional journalists to secure democracy by empowering tens of thousands of young people and their teachers to tackle online disinformation and by fostering understanding of quality journalism. Lie Detectors works to improve news literacy, increase awareness of misinformation and further the general public’s understanding of the mainstream media industry. It promotes positive and non-political contact between young people and journalists. Its long-term position is that news literacy should become an integral part of teacher-training colleges across Europe, so that news literacy can become one of the basic literacies of children in Europe.
Expertise: Media Literacy; Digital Literacy; Journalism; Critical Thinking; Teacher Training
Associate Professor Digital News and Journalism, KU Leuven and Factcheck.Vlaanderen
Michaël Opgenhaffen is Professor of Digital News and Journalism at the Institute for Media Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of KU Leuven. Michaël conducts research on the influence of social media on the production and consumption of online news, with a focus on online disinformation and factchecking. In this context, he is affiliated with factcheck.vlaanderen, the medium-independent factchecking platform that uses artificial intelligence to identify disinformation, and with BENEDMO, the Flemish-Dutch partnership between universities, news media, factcheckers and companies to understand and combat disinformation.
Expertise: Digital News Research, Social Media Journalism, Factchecking, OSINT, Platform Policy