“The Fake News Cycle: Searching for Truth in the Digital Age”

  • April 17, 2019 • 5:30 PM
  • Emerson Auditorium

While the creation and distribution of fake news is as old as American journalism, never before has it been so pervasive or as influential. Russian Internet hackers interfering with the 2016 presidential election…President Trump’s repeated use of the term “fake news” for established media outlets printing stories he disagrees with…bots that hijack messages…video tampering…these are disrupting influences that spread untruths or deny facts, and they are all aspects of an insidious trend that is ripping apart one of America’s most vital forms of democracy.

In this cultural climate, how do journalists navigate such a vulnerable terrain? Michael Barbaro, host of the popular political podcast, The Daily and veteran reporter for The New York Times will open the program with an overview of the profession and share insights regarding its future.

This will be followed by a panel that will concentrate on the issues and challenges created by the proliferation of fake news/misinformation. Panelists include: Becca Lewis, an Internet researcher at Data & Society;; Sarah Kliff, a WashU alumna, Vox correspondent and expert on health care; Anna Banchik, a social media platforms expert who also studies human rights investigations; and serving as moderator, Sabrina Wang, a WashU senior in Arts & Sciences and executive director of Washington University Political Review.

This is the Elliot Stein Lecture in Ethics, co-sponsored by Washington University Political Review, Student Life, and the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy in Arts & Sciences.