New Penn State Behrend series to focus on fake news phenomenon

March 20, 2018

When it comes to news reporting, a commitment to getting the facts straight is crucial. Doug Oathout and Ed Palattella know that as well as anyone. Their careers depend on it.

Oathout, executive editor for the Erie Times-News, and Palattella, an investigative reporter for the Times-News, will discuss the journalistic process and the challenges of combating "fake news" when they visit Penn State Behrend next week for a special presentation.

“Making Sense of the Media in an Uncertain Time,” will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in McGarvey Commons, located in the college’s Reed Union Building. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of the “Fighting Fake News” series. Sponsored by the Lilley Library, the series emphasizes the need to educate the public on how they can decipher deliberate misinformation from actual news.

Following their presentation, Oathout and Palattella will take part in a Q&A session.

An additional event in the series, “Understanding Fake News,” will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in McGarvey Commons. During the event, a panel of Penn State Behrend faculty experts will discuss fake news from the perspectives of their fields of expertise.

Panelists for the event include Steven Berg, assistant teaching professor of psychology; Karrie Bowen, lecturer in social media, public relations, and media production; Lena Surzhko-Harned, assistant teaching professor of political science; and Carol Wilson, associate professor of psychology. Eric Corty, director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will serve as emcee. This event is also free and open to the public.

For more information on the “Fighting Fake News” series, contact reference librarian Stephanie Diaz at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 20, 2018