FAKE news and how to tackle it is set to be taught in a new module run by Essex University’s post-graduate department.

As part of the course, the institution’s MA in International Journalism will offer a complete module in digital open-source journalism techniques.

With the world of media dominated by online content, the course aims to offer reporters a grounding in traditional reporting as well as an guidance on how to collect, analyse and document publicly available online information for use in law, advocacy or journalism.

Director of journalism, Dr Idrees Ahmad, said the key challenge for many journalists now is separating what is accurate and what is not before they report on a story.

He said: “The bigger challenge these days is sifting through the deluge of data currently being produced.

“Inevitably, this space is also being filled with noise, often in the form of weaponised disinformation, which is intended to bury the truth.

“Open-source journalism addresses this by restoring the primacy of facts and verifiability.”

The university’s human rights centre and digital verification unit are also available for students who enrol on the course, which is run by the department of literature, film, and theatre studies.