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Journalism Prof. Addresses Verification for Media Studies Students

Journalism Prof. Adam Glenn guest lectured Dec. 5 about the journalistic challenges of truth-seeking and verification for the several hundred students of Prof. Robert Stanley’s Media 180 Introduction to Media Studies.

Glenn’s fast-paced one-hour talk spotlighted the role of fact-based journalism in enabling news consumers to take part more effectively in civic society, even in the face of a rising flow of misinformation on the internet.

He also addressed the wide dissemination of fake information on social media, and identified tools and techniques that news consumers and journalists could use to verify more accurate news media content.

Glenn concluded his talk by speculating on one way news outlets might better retain audience attention and trust — through so-called “solutions journalism.”

“Part of the challenge journalism faces is that it’s often perceived as being good at just one task, that is digging up society’s problems and putting them on display,” he explained. “But to succeed, perhaps we cannot simply ask the tough questions that get at the painful facts of our failings. Perhaps we need also to help dig up the answers.”

Glenn noted that while journalists may not themselves necessarily offer solutions, since that could undermine their independence, they might be better at seeking out and more deeply reporting on the solutions that others see or are trying out, in order to cast a spotlight on hopeful responses to society’s problems.

He also outlined for students some of the offerings of the Hunter journalism program and urged students to take journalism classes — “All in the interest of joining the fact-finding, storytelling brigade that will help provide your community with the insight it needs to make this a better place to live.”

A video of Glenn’s full lecture is available on YouTube here.

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