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Skripal CaseStudy Discernment IFS2018 .pdf


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THE SKRIPAL
POISONING
A CASE-STUDY IN
COUNTERING
DISINFORMATION
INSTITUTE FOR
STATECRAFT 2018

WHY THIS ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT IN SALISBURY, ENGLAND HAS
SIGNIFICANT IMPLICATIONS FOR DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES AND THE
RESISTANCE AGAINST RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION AND MANIPULATION

Salisbury Cathedral, England

DISCERNMENT IN ACTION
Lessons learned from real-time media messages and responses
The assassination attempt by poisoning of Sergei and Julia Skripal in Salisbury has
exposed brutal Russian aggression towards the UK and the extent of their willingness to
follow through this action with an extensive media disinformation campaign. This oneday training workshop is designed to draw real-time lessons from this tragic event, and
help equip both institutions and individuals to discern authentic and reliable
information through the flood of media messages.

Sample topics to be covered as part of a one-day training programme:
• Distinguishing between information and propaganda
• Understanding the information space in which we live
• What does objectivity mean?
• What makes some media sources more reliable than others?
• Identifying manipulation and fake messages
• Understanding how false messages spread
• Strategies to build media literacy and resilience

For each training seminar in coordination with IFS clusters, local media examples of
coverage of the Skripal case will be compiled that reflect a broad spectrum of media
coverage. The goal is not to focus on what media channels are being consumed, but
rather to help participants reflect on the way they engage with a variety of media
platforms in order to help cultivate discernment.
As the workshop concludes, IFS facilitators will take the opportunity to share ‘behindthe-scenes’ research that illustrates the comprehensive strategies and technology that
enable a concerted disinformation campaign to be conducted by Russia across Europe,
and the diverse ways this is implemented in different locations.


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