Nicole Kraft, associate professor of clinical communication, and Jeffrey Trimble, School of Communication and Department of Political Science lecturer, gave a presentation on fake news Sept. 10 as a part of the “Dialogue” monthly discussion series sponsored by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and WOSU.
The duo will reprise the presentation “Disinformation in the Digital Age: Is Fake News Wining?” as the closing session at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs leadership forum Oct. 25 from 3:15-4:15 p.m.
More than 200 students and members of the public attended the “Dialogue” discussion, which included a lively Q&A session about challenges in today’s news media landscape.
Kraft and Trimble talked about the misconceptions and realities of fake news, a term that has been co-opted by contemporary politicians to discredit critical media reports. Trimble and Kraft discussed ways in which news consumers can discern “fake” news from genuine reports, including altered videos known as “deepfakes.”
“We want to help people become more well-informed and better consumers of information,” said Kraft.
Stressing the importance of journalism in today’s polarized political and media environment, Kraft and Trimble also discussed the importance of free press, objective truth and its impact on democracy.
“Individuals can play a crucial role in preventing the spread of fake news and disinformation,” said Trimble. “Most important, people need to carefully assess content before passing it along through social media — to think before they share.”
Trimble also shared his international journalist experience from a long career overseas, including when he was a correspondent in Moscow during the final years of the Soviet Union.
“Jeff’s caliber and experience is something most students only get to read about in books. He is a gift to the School, and I’m grateful everyday to get the chance to work with him,” she said.
Kraft expressed her thanks for to WOSU and Glenn College for the invitation to speak at the event. She said their September conversation was the beginning of many that she and Trimble hope to have.
“People need to have faith in journalism, that it can be that reporter of truth so we can be informed and make the best decisions to help democracy flourish,” Kraft said.