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Has Reason Been Eclipsed? Getting Past Fake News, Echo Chambers, and Propaganda

Panel discussion: Randall Bytwerk (Communication Arts & Sciences), Garth Pauley (Communication Arts & Sciences), Blake Riek (Psychology), and Kate van Liere (History)

A free press is one of the indispensable foundations of a democratic society. But many purveyors of news and opinion use that freedom irresponsibly. The proliferation of electronic media in recent years has created a bewildering cacophony of conflicting “news sources” and rancorous debates about what constitutes truth in journalism. How can we distinguish “real news” from “fake news” and truth from falsehood? Why is distorted reporting so prevalent and so popular? What hope is there for journalistic objectivity in this polarized climate?   

About the panelists

Randall Bytwerk is professor emeritus of communication arts and sciences. His German Propaganda Archive provides translations and visual material from the Nazi and East German eras.

Garth Pauley is professor of communication arts & sciences. He has written about how social movements use and are used by the news media. In addition, he has taught courses about how journalistic norms, values, and routines shape the news.

Blake Riek is associate professor of psychology. His research examines the causes of prejudice and bias, and in finding ways to reduce them. His other line of research focuses on the psychology of forgiveness.

Kate van Liere is professor of history. Her interests include early modern European cultural and religious history, history of scholarship, and historiography. Her current research examines the intertwining of Christian history and national history writing in sixteenth-century Spain.

About the Just Citizenship series

This series has been organized by the Dean for Research and Scholarship under the Provost's Faith and Citizenship Initiative

What does it mean for Christians to think deeply and act justly in this time of political uncertainty? Just Citizenship is a weekly series of interdisciplinary lectures and panel discussions addressing current issues and asking how Christians can work for renewal in society. Join us in the Chapel each Monday at 3:30 during the spring semester; all of these events are free and open to the public. Find out more about the series and related events.

The Just Citizenship series has been approved for State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) in the state of Michigan. For every forum you attend, you can earn one clock hour of SCECH credit for certificate renewal. For more information and a SCECH application form, please visit our homepage for the series.

March 2017
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