Campus News / Politics

Upcoming fake news crisis forum

By: Todd Evans – Copy Editor

A forum on recognizing the difference between factual and fake news stories will be held on March 22 by the William Paterson University Communication Department.

The forum will be at 11 a.m. in University Commons Ballroom A.

A flyer for the event says professors will “present a multifaceted discussion of fake news to help … understand the broader background of fake news, learn how to analyze and evaluate it, and see library resources.”

A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that about two in three adults say fabricated news stories confuse them about the facts of current events.

The faculty conducting the event includes journalism professors Dr. Nick Hirshon, Dr. Joann Lee, Associate Professor Elizabeth Birge and interpersonal communication professors Chairwoman Dr. Diana Peck and Dr. Pixy Ferris. In addition David and Lorraine Cheng Library User Education Co-Coordinator Cara Berg will be present to assist with library resources.

Dr. Joann Lee thinks the real danger of fake news is when facts are inserted into other wise completely false articles to make denouncement of it harder.

“The media as a whole is not doing well in terms of public perception and that is at the core of this,” Lee said. “If the people who traditionally are assigned the mission of giving information to the public and those people are not trusted. Then at the end of the day who can we trust.”

This forum is part of a larger group of events held on the same day by WPU’s Social Justice Project. The other events comprise of Freedom Under Fire at 12:30 p.m. and Take Action to Ensure your Constitutional Rights at 2 p.m.



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