Tyger Munn records an introduction that is the basis for a deep-fake video.
Broadcast and Digital Journalism graduate student Tyger Munn records an introduction to the project’s deep-fake video. The video was produced by Multimedia, Photography and Design graduate student Jason Lozada and professor Milton Santiago. Photo by Collin Bell

about infodemic

Syracuse University student journalists spent a year investigating disinformation, its prevalence and its impact.

Disinformation has existed since at least Roman times. But social media’s ability to amplify and accelerate its spread has weaponized the virus of disinformation. It’s eroding trust in the media and other institutions, infecting our campus, city and country.

Experts say the Infodemic is here. Overwhelmed with information, much of it false, this new epidemic leaves us uncertain about what’s true and what’s not. The result is that we too often fall for scams and false narratives while dismissing facts as “fake news.”

Syracuse University student-journalists spent this academic year exploring the Infodemic, the latest in-depth, multimedia reporting project from The NewsHouse and its partners. 

Dozens of SU’s media students spent the school year investigating sources of scams and fraud and exploring the systems that contribute to the spread of misleading information. The result: more than 30 comprehensive stories packaged with photos, videos, illustrations, audio, data visualizations and interactives.

Project reporter April Santana meets with high school students with the Syracuse Journalism Lab at at ITC Central Tech in December 2022.
Project reporter April Santana meets with high school students who participate in the Syracuse Journalism Lab at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central in December 2022. Courtesy of Emily Kenny

We started in the fall, reporting on the information vacuum in local communities of color and how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has increased disinformation on women’s reproductive health and other timely stories. Then we developed pieces over the course of the year, including the impact of exploitative true crime media; the mechanisms behind phone scams and email phishing; and stories about banned books, deep fakes and AI, greenwashing, school ranking and many others. Our goal: to shine a light on the dark corners of disinformation.

Work of this depth and breadth would not have been possible without the collaboration of student designers, videographers, illustrators, social media coordinators, faculty mentors and co-publication opportunities with our partners, NPR affiliate WAER 88.3 and Syracuse’s South Side community newspaper, The Stand

Funding made an enormous difference, allowing for reporting trips to the state capital and New York City, extensive multimedia production, Uber rides for reporters without cars, stipends for student leads and other advantages. We give our deepest thanks to Newhouse alumnus David Flaum and his wife, Jackie, whose generosity makes experiences like this possible for Newhouse students.

We also received substantial contributions from the Knight Foundation and its “Combatting Disinformation in Communities of Color” grant, Syracuse University’s SOURCE grant program, and the Newhouse School’s support for graduate assistants.

Student Project

FAculty Project

Project team

production Coordinators

Social media Coordinator – Anthony Adornato
Editing Coordinator – Rawiya Kameir
Audio Coordinator – Chris Bolt
Story Coordinators – Aileen Gallagher, Eric Grode, Harriet Brown
and Ashley Kang

Social Media Producers

Chilekasi Adele
Sarah Alessandrini
Curran Campbell
Toluwanimi Fajolu
Matt Hassan
Brittany Miller
Matt Zumbolo

Reporters & Producers

Sarah Alessandrini 
Isabele Bekele
Rose Boehm
Cait Brady
Griffin Brown
Marissa Carello
Brian Cohen
Jordan Greene
Nate Harrington 
Kyle Henderson
Sneha KC
Ava Leventhal
Joy Mao
Cameron McKeon
Mikayla Melo
Tyger Munn
Marnie Muñoz
Tyler O'Neill
Joey Pagano
Karla Perez
Natalie Rieth
Alejandro Rosales
April Santana
Chris Scarglato
Charles Sirey
Ryan Stephens
Skylar Swart 
Sophie Szydlik 

Digital producers

Alex Battaglia
Cait Brady
Jordan Greene
Ava Leventhal
Cameron McKeon
Nell Schwartz
Skylar Swart

Content Editors

Cait Brady
Mark Budd
Maxine Chi
Sophie Cohen
Anthony Del Trecco
Cali Delisle
Josh Feldstein
Jordan Greene
Madison Manczko
Marnie Muñoz
Richard Perrins
Bibiana Snyder
Eden Stratton
Runfeng (Franklin) Wang


Collin Bell
Ryan Brady
Kayla Breen
Em Burris
Nina Gerzema
Bennett Hense
Arthur Maiorella
Joohee Na
Isaiah Vasquez
James Year


Jason Lozada
Murphy McFarlane
Charles Sirey
Isaiah Vasquez


Matthew Brodsky
Elizabeth Coleman
Samantha Mai Currier
Bryanna Hull
Danny Kahn
Ally Manziano
Khanh Newhill-Leahy
Sofya Mikhaylova