Freshmen-focused lecture to address fake news

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With politicians and pundits screaming “fake news” and discussing “alternative facts,” even stories from the most prestigious news outlets are getting a second look. The epidemic has left the public confused and skeptical about what’s real and what’s not.

It’s an especially important topic for students aspiring to roles in the communications industry. It’s also the topic of the inaugural First-Year Lecture conducted by the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

The free public lecture — titled “That Doesn’t Sound Right: Deciphering Real News From Fake” — will be presented at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 in 121 Sparks Building by Denise Bortree, associate professor of advertising/public relations.

Bortree, who is also director of the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, housed in the Bellisario College, will discuss academic and practical concepts related to “fake news” and share research to help make sense of the influence of deliberate misinformation.

Among the many questions addressed in the session will be:

— How does fake news and related skepticism affect public discourse?

— What can media consumers do to combat fake news?

— What role do professionals in the communications fields (advertising, film, journalism, public relations) play in creating, perpetuating and, potentially, eliminating the spread of misinformation?

While the lecture was conceived as a way to highlight a timely topic for first-year communications students and feature an expert from the Bellisario College, anyone may attend.

Last Updated August 25, 2017