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Northeast Media Literacy Conference:

The Past, Present and Future of Media Literacy Education

Sat., Feb. 4, 2017 / Central Connecticut State University
THIS PAGE LINKED FROM: http://tinyurl.com/ccsu-fake-news

Defining the Fake News Moment: Fiction, Fad, Fatal or Media Lit Opportunity?

Plenary "unconference" breakout: 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
With Katherine Fry, Allison Butler, Mellisa Zimdars and Bill Densmore


  • There is an assuption there is real news. But what is "real news" if you don't believe in objectivity?
  • Term co-opted in many ways. Applied to alt-rogue-Twitter accounts? NRA 'news organization' to convey info about guns. Consider fake news on a continuum. I'm sticking with it because of how it is stuck with us socially. But how do we use it to think about networks of information or misinformation.
  • Definition has changed. Umbrella for whatever we want it to mean. "I don't like you, if I disagree with what you are saying, it's fake." Now an entity is fake news, not even the information. Grammarian says that is wrong. "Something that is patently false." Media Matters definition is instructive. Jonathan Swift etc. approach gets into process of critical inquiry. Fake News is not a fair term anymore. Return to the idea of "patently false."
  • We are talking so far about the use of words, is it "said" to be true or false? Another dimension: Regarding images and TV news. If you have an event that happened and a news crew takes certain pictures of the event but not others and in editing the juxtapose images to create a whole new different event -- isn't that fake news, too? The term seems so shallow.
  • Bill Densmore: Shaun King talk.
  • Re: Madonna comment about feeling like wanting to bomb the White House. Misrepresenting the intent of comments like that is seen as shameful. It is visceral that you can see how things are twisted. What about the challenge of brevity: How do you get perspective on a news event beyond the 140-character presidential Tweet?
  • Melissa Zamdars: Troubled by how people portrayed her "Fake News" list. It was referred to as "hit list" or "black list." It was morphing. She likes the idea of a continuum. We need to keep the journalism and the news connected to our conversation.
  • Allison: Instantaneous quality of the discussion goes back to Media 101 -- media in the U.S. is constructed for profit. Companies gain financially by portraying Madonna as really wanting to blow up the White House (not). EVerything instantaneous, so much appearing to be happening all the time that their is commercial gain -- companies "making a lot of money off this misinformation ... off the work we do when we share ... what are we doing to support these corporations?"
  • What about the listening audience? You deliver to the consumer what they want. What are your perspectives about how you shift the need for what we're calling the truth to finding and surfacing the individual's perception of the truth. If the viewer is preparing to go out and report how do we deal with that?
  • Katherine: The citizen journalist needs some media-literacy education. If he had critical media skills, he wouldn't have believed what he believed. What is the digital-media environment we are caught up in. How is the landscape different from what we had before? We need a new way of understanding it.