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College hosts conversation on fake news for Leadership Week

Posted Feb 8 , 2017
Article and photos by Desirae Gostlin, first-year Master of Mass Communication student


Fake news. It’s the new buzzword of the media industry, leaving some people wondering what is fake news exactly.

Journalism professor Ernest Wiggins and Dr. David Lankes, director of the School of Library and Information Science, led a conversation with students and faculty on Feb. 2, at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 

At the event, "Fake News: Lunch, Learning, and Leadership," the professors discussed what fake news looks like, how to avoid accidentally proliferating it when covering a story and the potential dangers of fake news.

Using current news sites as teaching tools, both professors also gave examples of statements intermingling personal biases with fact. They said audiences may mistakenly call a story fake news when the article may be just poorly worded. 

“Fake news is not all fake. The charges of fake news are sometimes attached to stories that are 90 percent true — with some problems,” said Wiggins.

The session took place as part of the university’s Leadership Week, which is a weeklong, campus wide series of events. Multiple colleges, offices and libraries sponsor activities, seminars, panel discussions, and performances. Undergraduate students can attend these activities as part of their enhancement activities needed for Graduation with Leadership Distinction.