Fake news, incorrect messages and hoaxes have existed for hundreds of years, but their spread has been lightning fast since the rise of social media. Inaccurate information that is deliberately aimed at causing harm is being spread at a rapid pace. A well-known example of disinformation in the energy sector is Shell’s campaign in the ‘90s, through which the company casts doubt and confusion on the findings of climate scientists describing the dangers of global warming. The campaign was intended to prevent government intervention in polluting energy extraction. This while Shell knew about the serious (climate) consequences of using fossil fuels as early as 1986. And also now, in the Ukraine crisis, we have to be careful to distinguish real news from fake news. There is a high tension between real and dishonest intentions to influence us as individuals, but also as a society.

Thus, more and more doubt is cast on knowledge and the intentions of the people or companies spreading knowledge. What role, if any, do journalists have in the fight against disinformation? What role do educational institutions and students have? And how can energy professionals guard against disinformation? We discuss that and more in the April 6 Barn Talk.

The Panel

Marcel Broersma, Professor of Media & Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen, will kick off the Barn Talk with a short introduction to the topic. After which a panel of researchers, journalists, students and educators discuss several statements. The panel of the upcoming Barn Talk consists of:

  • Marcel Boersma, Professor of Media & Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen.
  • Evert van Dijk, editor in chief of Dagblad van het Noorden.
  • Wim Elving, lecturer Sustainable Communication at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
  • Cor Schoonbeek, lecturer International Communication and researcher at the lectorate Communication, Behaviour & the Sustainable Society at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
  • Jülide Kont, PhD candidate on disinformation and International Communication lecturer at Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
  • Two International Communication master’s students from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences: Tobi Walter and Jane Michelle.


Marcel Koenis, Director of Business Development at EnTranCe – Centre of Expertise Energy, is moderator of the panel discussion.

  • Wed 6 April
  • 16:15 - 17:15 (CEST)
  • de Energy Barn
    Zernikelaan 17
    9747 AJ Groningen, NL