Speakers to address fake news issue

Amidst national discussion concerning fake news and media trust, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President will be having an interactive workshop to increase conscious consumption of news.

Thursday’s workshop titled “Fake or Fact? The Search for Real News in 2017” will include Tampa Bay Times and Politifact senior researcher Caryn Baird, New York Times columnist and inaugural IU Poynter Chair Roger Cohen, and IU professor of informatics and computer science Filippo Menczer.

Menczer was a co-coordinator of Hoaxy, a web-based tool to visualize the spread of fake or misleading news stories on social media.

Elaine Monaghan, IU professor of practice in the Media School and head of the IU Poynter Center board, who asked Cohen to be part of the event, said there was an overlap between the “Hot Topics” series and the Poynter Center.

“We’re trying to engage the campus in these important issues,” she said.

The title of one workshop will be “Sleuthing the Truth: Verification Using Public Records Resources,” which will be led by Baird, who has had research credit on five Pulitzer Prize stories and has been working with reporters and editors for more than 18 years.

Participants in this workshop are encouraged to bring a laptop or smartphone to participate in round-table, small-group discussions, where Baird will share media resources and assist attendees with judging reliability of sources.

Lauren Robel, provost and executive vice president at IU, said in an IU Newsroom press release their office has a responsibility to teach students to be critical consumers of all forms of media.

“The surge of fake news stories makes this responsibility more pressing than ever,” Robel said in the release. “This Hot Topics session offers a wonderful opportunity to provide our students with tools to take on this critical issue.”

Moderating the workshop will be Monaghan and Tom French, the Riley Endowed Chair in Journalism and professor of practice in the Media School. French invited Baird to be a part of the workshop.

Another event on Thursday includes a discussion of media issues in the Franklin Hall atrium with Cohen titled “Sinking in a Swamp of News, Lies and Social Media?” at 11:15 a.m. The discussion will include a panel with Cohen; Hannah Alani, editor of the Indiana Daily Student, and Anne Kibbler, communications director for the Media School.

Monaghan said it’s an interesting topic because it’s something that’s so close to people’s hearts. She said it’s a cross-campus collaboration.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of something positive when there’s so much negative going on,” Monaghan said.

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