Scott Shane, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times led the workshop, “Facts or Fakes? A Hands-On Workshop on Navigating the News in an Age of Disinformation.” The workshop was hosted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
Shane emphasized the value of accurate news, especially during the upcoming 2020 presidential election. He also detailed the recent increase in the number of news and media sources and how it relates to the current political news climate.
“When I was an undergraduate, there were three or four TV networks, you might get a local paper thrown onto your lawn every day. That was about it.” he said. “The business model had to be ‘stay away from extremes, check facts’ to appeal to everyone. You couldn’t afford to lean too far to the left or right for fear of losing half your audience.”
Although he cautioned against being gullible, Shane also talked about there being a fine line between healthy skepticism and total cynicism. Additionally, he also talked about what websites and social media platforms can do to protect against false information.