OSWEGO, NY – The president will, via Skype, share the secrets of successful tweeting in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom on Wednesday evening.
Sorry. The editors apologize for the above sentence. It is quite obviously fake news.
However, an expert panel will discuss “Fighting Fake News: Navigating the New Norms in Journalism” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15, in the college’s Sheldon Hall ballroom.
The panel will include WRVO News Director Catherine Loper and SUNY Oswego communication studies faculty members Brian Moritz, Arvind Diddi and Jason Zenor.
Michael Riecke of the communication studies department will moderate the event, which is sponsored by the college’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts.
“Defining ‘fake news’ is a really challenging thing. It’s one of the topics we’ll be discussing at the panel,” Moritz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Digital Media Production and Online Journalism Communication Studies Department, told Oswego County Today.
The panel discussion will explore the causes and impacts of the rise of “fake news,” as well as what educators, students, journalists and citizens can do to promote healthy journalism and news literacy.
It has become kind of a catch-all term for anything from “things I disagree with” to what we’d normally consider “propaganda,” Moritz said.
“For me, I think the heart of fake news is that it is disseminated intentionally with a specific intent. Oftentimes, it is then shared unintentionally by members of the audience who aren’t aware of its true nature,” he said.
How to combat fake news will be a big part of what the panel will be talking about.
“For me, one of the most important things we can do as educators is to teach media literacy. It’s teaching people what to look for and how to judge whether a news source is credible or not, whether it’s trustworthy or not,” Moritz explained. “You’re right about confirmation bias — that’s a huge part of this problem. Again, for me, a lot of it is educating people and teaching them to be mindful both of their own biases and of the signs of not-credible news sources.”
But, with the explosion of all the social media there is so much “information” out there, how does the public know what it can and cannot trust anymore?
“Boy, that’s a really good question. For me, the trustworthy sources are the ones who show their work, who abide by the journalistic norms and values that have been a part of the industry for years and that abide by a code of ethics,” Moritz said. But it’s hard to tell people that when there are so many outlets catering to our biases and outlets on both sides of the spectrum that have made it a practice to degrade the ‘traditional media.’ That idea of trust is a challenging one, both for the audience and for news outlets trying to regain it.”
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