28th Annual Kenneth S. Devol First Amendment Forum

April 16, 2019

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After Fake News – Journalism, Myth and Truth Telling in Times of Crisis is the theme of this year’s Kenneth S. Devol First Amendment Forum, planned from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18 in the Pasadena Room on the second floor of the USU East Conference Center.

“The forum will focus on how we can thrive and survive after the fake news paradigm. It will also try to find new ways to communicate with each other, rather than people calling one another liars and framing the press as ‘The Enemy of the People,’” said Dr. Elizabeth Blakey, the Journalism faculty coordinator of the 28th annual forum.

Blakey will be joined on the panel presentation by Snopes Founder David Mikkelson and graduate student speaker Tiago Souza Barreiro, who will share their ideas on the theme of journalism’s role in truth-telling and the impact myth and truth-telling have on society.

Mikkelson will give the keynote presentation on fake news and the urban legend, followed by student speaker Barreiro’s presentation, titled, “What’s the Story with Deep Fake?” A Q&A session will conclude the event.

“Snopes has been on the forefront of combatting false information since the beginning of the Internet,” said Barreiro, who noted it's one of the oldest fact-checking websites, having been established in 1994. The site is a go-to place for Internet users to investigate the veracity of stories circulated online.

Barreiro referenced the most recent presidential election by saying, “The 2016 election proves that people are accessible to fake news and they need to be safeguarded against it.”

The forum Twitter handle will be #afterfakenews, Barreiro said.

As moderator, Blakey will discuss how the U.S. might overcome the paradigm of “fake news.” She also will talk about the polarization and fragmentation of communities and how we can come together as a nation, with a shared understanding of the many ways the truths are layered and perceived.

“The forum will eventually try to post up ideas on how we can move past the fake news paradigm,” she said.

Admission is free to the 28th Annual Kenneth S. Devol First Amendment Forum, established in recognition of the late department leader Devol’s 30 years of service to CSUN and Journalism. The event is open to the public. Parking Structure G3, near the corner of Zelzah Avenue and Nordhoff Street, is the nearest parking location. A parking pass can be purchased at either Info Booth No. 3 at Zelzah Avenue and Prairie Street or from a kiosk in the parking structure.

– By contributor Omar Shahriar