Genevieve Cheng and Sharing Isn't Caring

April 24, 2023

Meet Genevieve Cheng, a fifth-year student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. In our interview, she shared her experiences in CMNSU and the School of Communication more generally. She also chatted about how she created Sharing Isn't Caring, a media literacy project that focuses on fact-checking and spreading awareness about misinformation and fake news. She advises her CMNS peers to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, attend student events, and participate in co-op programs. She also talked about her plans after graduation, which include applying to a master's program and exploring various areas of communication.

Genevieve's Sharing Isn't Caring project began during her participation in the CMNS 425 course with Professor Martin Laba. Students had to create projects based on a concept of their interest. Genevieve, along with a couple of her classmates, focused their project on media literacy and combating the growing distrust of media due to misinformation and fake news. They began creating social media posts and found that they were able to get some engagement from people who were interested in their project. They grew their social media accounts for the project across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Through this project, Genevieve learned that being a public content creator on social media platforms is harder than she initially thought it would be. She found it difficult to build a following and has since realized that it takes a lot of effort to keep up with different platforms and figure out the best strategies for each one and appeal to their differences in algorithms. She also learned a lot about how to use TikTok and how to break through with humor to communicate her message about media literacy and critical thinking online in order to relate to a wider demographic.

Genevieve hopes to continue her work with the Sharing Isn’t Caring project. Following the end of the Fall 2022 semester, she approached Professor Laba to ask about doing a directed study to continue the project, which ended up being approved. Since then, she has been running the project’s social media, expanding it to include a posting schedule and attract a wider audience. She is passionate about fact-checking and spreading awareness about reading articles and finding context before sharing news items. The focus of her directed study is on media literacy and how to teach it to a younger audience, specifically Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha. Genevieve sees herself continuing the project after graduation, albeit at a lesser scale. After graduation, Genevieve hopes to pursue the new MA program in the School of Communication. While she wasn't initially planning on doing grad school, the new project-based program caught her attention. If accepted, she hopes to expand her project further and benefit from the structured learning and peer feedback that she would receive throughout her studies.

Working on the FCAT podcast has been a really fun experience for Genevieve. She never considered herself a podcast fan until recently, but she did a couple of podcast proposal projects and courses last year, and then found it to be a great way to share information. When she saw an opportunity to work with FCAT, she thought that it would be a great way to expand her skills. In the fall, she was able to help out with two episodes for the podcast. She learned a lot about audio editing and the complexities of what goes into a single podcast episode. The producer of the podcast, Stacey Copeland, taught her a lot about podcasting, and she is really proud of the two episodes that came out of it.

Genevieve's most memorable moment at SFU was joining the Communication Student Union and attending events where she met other students and industry professionals, solidifying her passion for communication. Like many others, Genevieve’s university experience was disrupted by COVID; however, she discussed that even throughout the two years of online learning, volunteering with CMNSU allowed her to engage with the community and made her feel connected with the Burnaby campus, despite not having returned to it since 2020. When asked about advice for current students, she emphasizes the importance of engaging with your community. She advises her peers to attend student events, even if it's nerve-wracking. "Taking advantage of opportunities such as these can change your entire experience at university," she notes.

Chatting with Genevieve showed us the importance of taking opportunities, both academically and socially, exploring interests, and continuously learning and adapting to new challenges.


Learn more about Sharing Isn't Caring here.