I am glad that Dr. Allison encouraged us to go to the March 24 Teach-In on the Quad. I don’t know if I would have heard about it otherwise, and it ended up being very interesting.
The theme was “Intellectual Responsibility: Truth and Politics.” A bunch of the different academic departments had an hour time slot, in which students and professors spoke on how this theme applied to their research and work. The Film and Media Studies Department focused on Fake News, a topic we have discussed almost weekly in our class.
I especially enjoyed the second presentation that featured Emory Professor and Journalist Hank Klibanoff. After many years in the field of journalism and an impressive career, it was neat to hear Klibanoff’s thoughts on the current state of News in America.
According to Professor Klibanoff, “in mainstream media, no one is as critical as journalists are of themselves.” He argued that this may be the only industry where professionals daily point on and call attention to mistakes made in the ‘Corrections’ section of a newspaper, magazine, or publication.
I think the key word here is mainstream. Klibanoff was referring to news producers that hold themselves to a high standard, that have integrity. I immediately thought of publications like the Wall Street Journal, which I chose to subscribe to at the beginning of the semester. I think journalists at theWSJ would fit the bill.
This leads to something else we have discussed in regards to fake news and news in general: how do you discern the good stuff from the bad? How do you filter through all of it and get a well-rounded, partisan glimpse of society when there’s so much out there? Klibanoff believes this burden has shifted to the news consumer.
“You have to bring your own filters and scrutiny to what you read,” said Klibanoff.
I enjoyed Klibanoff and the other professors’ comments. I particularly appreciated his comment about the changing role of the consumer in this evolving and changing news media landscape. I will be certain to keep that in mind and not believe everything I read!