Science journalists discuss communicating in a ‘post-truth’ world

A panel of journalists gathered in the Lory Student Center to discuss science journalism at a panel put on by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.

The panel, titled “Communicating Science in a ‘Post-Truth World,” took place on Sept. 12. Four journalists joined a room full of academics, researchers, students and interested members of the community.

The panel consisted of Christopher Joyce, a science reporter at National Public Radio; Grace Hood, who works for Colorado Public Radio. Rachel Cernansky, an independent journalist and Jeff Burnside a Scripps Environmental Journalism Fellow.

Nancy Baron, the panel’s moderator began the discussion by asking, “How many of you really care about making this a better world?”

Everyone in the room stood up.

“This is something that scientists and journalists share: a passionate desire to make this world a better place,” Baron said after the attendees and the panelists sat back down.

According to Barren “post-truth” was Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016.

“The term has come to mean, ‘where objective facts and evidence can be lost in the noise generated by direct appeals to emotion and deeply held personal beliefs,’” Baron said.

According to Joyce, “post-truth” is not new.

“I’ve been covering science since the ’70s,” Joyce said. “I started in Washington, and I saw people on the left as much on the right ‘cherry-picking’ science. Everybody has an agenda.”

According to Hood, who has over 10 years of experience in journalism, her job became more difficult with the change in presidency.

“I would say (that) with the Trump Administration, one of the biggest challenges has been localizing stories,” Hood said. “I really found myself not trying to go for volume anymore but more (of) the contextual stories.

Read more at Collegian.com

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Is it harder to communicate in a post-truth world?

How Do We Navigate A ‘Post-Truth’ World? Follow The Millennials

“In 2016, Oxford declared its Word of the Year to be “post-truth” after it saw a 2000% increase in usage. How do executives or at least older people make their way in a post-truth world? Leaning on your Millennials is one helpful approach.

Post-truth is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion that appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Some have attributed its recent popularity to the sort of anti-establishment and emotion-driven politics that gave rise to the election of President Trump and the Brexit decision. However, we believe that the post-truth world we find ourselves in is the result of greater phenomena. On one hand, growing income inequality has led to widespread frustration. Feeling shortchanged by the system, many people are susceptible to reactionary thinking. On the other, the constant barrage of information and opinions enabled by the internet and a 24-hour news cycle is not only disorienting, but also makes it difficult to discern between what is ‘news’ and what is ‘opinion.’

This confusion has led to a decline in trust. A 2016 Gallup poll has found that the American trust in mass media has fallen to an all-time low. Public distrust makes sense when we consider a Postmodern worldview. Why should people accept what they are told by mainstream sources when they have direct access to the ‘real’ world through the user-generated content that pervades the media? We have the ability at our fingertips to find evidence or opinions supporting any and all narratives. Why would we want to accept universal ‘truths’ or ‘facts’, especially those that contradict our opinions? But as irritating as a post-truth world may seem, we sense that Millennials may be the best guides to navigating it.”

Read more of this article on Forbes.com

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Are Millennials the Best Guides in the Post-Truth World?

Universities must rethink how they communicate in a post-truth world

Leave the bustle of Massachusetts Avenue and step into Harvard Yard, the historic heart of Harvard University, and you may notice an inscription above the gate. “Enter to grow in wisdom,” it reads. Stroll around the grounds and you cannot miss the famous Harvard coat of arms emblazoned with a single word: “Veritas”.

For centuries, our great research universities, epitomized by Harvard, have been the world’s bastions of wisdom and truth.

So it was appropriate that Times Higher Education held its inaugural World Reputation Forum at Harvard Square, Cambridge, earlier this month, bringing together senior leaders from Harvard and its neighbour the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as colleagues from the University of Oxford and another institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth, The Wall Street Journal. The meeting was convened to discuss “the role of truth-seekers in a post-truth world”

Original article by Phil Baty featured on Timeshighereducation.com. Read more.

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