Free Online Course

Strategic Communication to Counter Security Threats in the Disinformation Era


The culture of communications is changing at a rapid pace, driven by the power of 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 the 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 online course aims to increase the key knowledge and competences of institutional spokespersons and journalists (including young professionals in journalism and related disciplines/areas) in the field of security and defense and in relation to strategic communication and news reporting on security threats.

What am I going to learn?

  • Understand the 21st security threat landscape and the role of the cyber/information as security dimension.
  •  Analyze the key concepts related with 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.

When is the course?

The course will be held at the beginning of June.

The specific dates will be indicated soon.

What is the methodology of the course?

The course will be followed by videoconference (Meet) through the access offered by the organizers to enrolled students.

The duration of the course is 5 days with the following structure:

  1. First day: Class sessions by videoconference.
  2. Second day: Applied exercises in breakout sessions and Q&A, debate, wrap up and conclusions.
  3. Third, fourth and fifth day: Spotlight events – key note speaker session (recorded, to be viewed at your own convenience)

Special BONUS: Once registered, you will be granted access to the OER (Open Educational Resources) developed in the project.

What do I need to know before starting?

Previous knowledge of communication studies (disinformation, propaganda, media literacy, and fake news) just as in the field of security/ law enforcement is recommended to take advantage of the course.
However, the course can be followed by anyone with an interest in the subject of strategic communication.
The course is specifically designed for institutional spokespersons, students in communication and journalism and young journalists and opinion leaders that take part in accredited media communication flows during major security events.

What certification will I get?

Course participants will receive a Participating diploma at the end of the online course detailing the learning outcomes and key competencies to recognize professional and personal development for all participants.

What are the course policies?

Commit to Integrity

As a student in this course you are expected to maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic dishonesty includes such things as cheating, inventing false information or citations, plagiarism and helping someone else commit an act of academic dishonesty. It usually involves an attempt by a student to show possession of a level of knowledge or skill that he/she does not possess.

Any form of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism will be cause of exclusion.

What organizations teach the course?

This interdisciplinary course, framed under the CRESCEnt project (Mind the Gap in media coverage and strategic communication in case of security threats), co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, addresses the challenge of building awareness and developing resilience to disinformation, fake news, and hostile information influencing campaigns.

The course is developed in collaboration between: “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (MVNIA) – Romania, Ciberimaginario Research Group of the University Rey Juan Carlos– Spain, Kentro Meleton Asfaleias (KEMEA), Center For Security Studies – Greece and Ministry of Internal Affairs, Directorate for Information and Public Relations (MAI-DIRP) – Romania.

Course information

The course is a result of the project CRESCEnt Project. Mind the gap in media CoveRagE and Strategic communication in CasE of security Threats – the development of critical thinking and responsible reaction, adn Strategic partnership project within ERASMUS+ Program AGREEMENT NO. – 2018-1-RO01-KA202-049449.Z