Sunday, April 07

Defending Democracy: The Vital Role of a Free Press in the Age of Disinformation

Author and Journalism Professor Jessica Roberts joins us for a conversation about how the teaching and practice of journalism are not meeting our current reality. The timing of this could not be more relevant.

Look at what just happened with NBC hiring known election denier and sycophantic Ronna Romney-McDaniel.

RSVP today and join us for an enlightening and timely discussion.



Her latest book, Effective Journalism: How the Information Ecosystem Works and What Journalists Should Do About It, Jessica Roberts

Jessica Roberts explains how the cognitive and emotional factors affecting human behavior converge with the structural factors in current communication technologies to create an unhealthy information ecosystem in which journalists are at a disadvantage.

The book's central argument is that journalists and audiences can no longer afford to pretend that all information competes on an even playing field and
that it is enough for journalists to publish the factsʼ. Just as behavioral economics provided a new way of thinking about economics, one that understood people as non-rational actors, this book explains the reality, rather than the ideal, of how people seek and process information and what journalists and their audiences can do to try to create an informed public in the face of that reality.

This book provides journalists and the public with a broad overview of how modern communication technologies and information approaches make it difficult for people to find and interpret information effectively and what they can do about it. The public may be aware that things like confirmation bias, content algorithms, and the backfire effect can influence their behavior. Still, this book will explain them in one place, in plain language. Journalists likewise know that their audiences are dealing with some of these issues but continue to operate under the assumption that if they just publish facts, the truth will win out in the court of public opinion.



About the Speaker

Jessica Roberts is an assistant professor of communication at the Master’s Level at an international university in Lisbon, teaching journalism studies and research methods. She is co-author of the 2021 book “Attacks on the American Press” and the 2018 book “American Journalism and ‘Fake News’: Examining the Facts." She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland and her M.A. at the University of Southern California.


Sunday, April 07, 2024 at 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) Time



Angela Fobbs
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