Fake News! Media Skepticism and Democracy in the Digital Age
Tuesday, March 28th at 4:00 - 5:30pm at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Multimedia Auditorium.
Registration is required; seating is limited.
The concept of fake news is one of the most controversial and divisive topics that has recently come to the media forefront. While not a new phenomenon, fake news is being produced and distributed in novel ways through digital media. This event will discuss the current challenge of fake news and its intersection with the topics of media skepticism, engaged citizenship, democracy, and media literacy. The event will be a panel discussion with time allocated for questions from the audience.
Sponsored by the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, in partnership with the Center for Faith and Public Life, the Communication Dept, Digital Journalism of the English Dept, and Politics Dept.
Moderator: David Gudelunas
Dr. Gudelunas is a Professor of Communication and Director of the School of Communication, Arts and Media. His research focuses on emerging media technologies and communication industries.
Introduction: Jesse Erickson
Ms. Erickson is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, The Mirror, the Fairfield University Student newspaper.
Ebong Udoma is WSHU's senior political reporter. He regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR's diversity initiative. Ebong has covered presidential visits and high profile political races. Prior to joining WSHU in 1994, Ebong was an award-winning reporter with the Connecticut Post. He has also reported on several state and municipal corruption trials in Connecticut, including one that led to the resignation of former Governor John Rowland.
Gayle Alberda joined Fairfield University in 2016 as an assistant professor of Politics and Public Administration. Dr. Alberda teaches undergraduate American political science courses and graduate courses in Public Administration. Before her career in academia, she worked the political arena. Her work experience in the political field includes both lobbying, party, and campaign experience.
Matt Tullis is an assistant professor of English and digital journalism at Fairfield University. He is the host and producer of Gangrey: The Podcast, which focuses on narrative journalism and the reporters who write it. His book, Running With Ghosts: A Memoir of Surviving Childhood Cancer will be available later this summer.
Melissa Zimdars is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media at Merrimack College. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies (Media Studies) from the University of Iowa, and her M.A. and B.A. in Media Studies and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Zimdars primarily researches television programming, communication policies, and global media industries, with her work appearing in Television and New Media, Popular Communication, and Flow. She is also the author of the forthcoming book Watching Our Weights (Rutgers University Press). However, after her media literacy lesson went viral, Zimdars began working with a team of librarians and computer programmers to create tools for navigating fake news and other “news” websites through the OpenSources project. Additionally, she is working on a co-edited anthology entitled Fake News, which brings together scholars who study media literacy, big data and technology, cultural studies, political science, and psychology in order to examine the history and contemporary realities of fake, misleading, propagandistic, and conspiratorial news.