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This Article is True: "Fake News" Topic of Upcoming Open Forum at SCC

Feb 21, 2017

Did the Pope really endorse Donald Trump for president? Did Hillary Clinton really fund ISIS? Did police really find 19 white female bodies in freezers with “Black Lives Matter” carved into their skin?

No, none of those things really happened; however, fictitious news articles on those topics were among the most viewed and shared on social media in 2016, garnering hundreds of thousands of clicks.

The impact of such intentionally deceptive news stories, both on the last election and on the political process moving forward, will be the topic of the next edition of SoapBox, a panel discussion series that is free and open to the public at Somerset Community College.

“The Fight Against Fake News in the 'Post-Truth' Era” will be held on Tuesday, February 28 at 2 p.m. in the Harold Rogers Student Commons, Citizens National Bank Community Room, located on the SCC Somerset Campus at 808 Monticello Street in Somerset.

Panelists for the discussion will include longtime newspaper publisher Willie Sawyers, Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Bill Estep, SCC Assistant Professor of Political Science James Taylor and Jacob Stringer, managing editor for SCC’s student newspaper, The Bridge. The forum will also feature contributions from Professor Mary Taylor Huntsman, director of public services for SCC’s Learning Commons.

The Bridge is sponsoring this edition of SoapBox, the first of 2017.

Jeff Harris, a faculty advisor for The Bridge, calls the spread of fake news “an absolute scourge.”

“It is not only damaging to legitimate political discourse but to the work of all the legitimate journalists out there,” said Harris.

Harris hopes that the discussion will not only help students to tell the difference between real and fake news, but to “discern fact-based reporting from opinions packaged as news.”

SoapBox, now in its fifteenth year, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact James Taylor, assistant professor of Political Science, at james.taylor@kctcs.edu, or Jeff Harris, professor of English, at jeff.harris@kctcs.edu.