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

Featured image credit: ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

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

Banner row has Hong Kong entering the post-truth era

Hong Kong may be entering a post-truth era, too. Scanning the websites and online forums of the opposition and those of pro-establishment circles over the past two weeks, you can hardly tell facts from rumours and conspiracy theories. The impression they give is that the only truths are those that accord with your own political stance.

The rows over offensive banners put up at several university campuses have been the catalyst, though things have been going downhill in this regard for a long time. One common conspiracy theory among radicals and activists is that the big poster congratulating Undersecretary for Education Christine Choi Yuk-lin on the suicide of her 25-year-old son was not put up by Education University students at all. Rather, outside forces used the poster as a “false-flag” operation to discredit the fight by student leaders for freedom of speech and the right to raise issues about Hong Kong independence on university campuses.

Meanwhile, not a few members of the pro-government camp have speculated that the same university students or others sympathetic to them – rather than nationalistic mainland students – put up campus banners, written in simplified characters, to celebrate the death of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia being under house arrest. This was to distract people from the row over the Christine Choi banner, which has put the student activists and their university union representatives in a terrible light.

Read more on South China Morning Post

Featured Image Credit: South China Morning Post

Is Hong Kong Entering the Post-Truth Era?

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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Writing Wikipedia articles teaches information literacy skills, study finds

“As educators worldwide grapple with how to teach information literacy in the digital age, Wikipedia has emerged as one answer to the post-truth era. New research results confirm that writing Wikipedia articles as a class assignment can be a key part of teaching students critical information literacy skills.

Instructors in more than 90 countries worldwide assign their students to edit Wikipedia as a class assignment. Today, the Wiki Education Foundation (Wiki Ed) is releasing the results from the most comprehensive study ever undertaken to evaluate student learning outcomes from Wikipedia assignments. The study concludes that Wikipedia assignments provide students valuable digital/information literacy, critical research, teamwork, and technology skills, and students are more motivated by these assignments than they are by traditional writing assignments.”

Is this the future of literary education in the post-truth era?

Full story – https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/06/19/wikipedia-information-literacy-study/

Feature photo credit: Wikimedia Commons