Fake News: Racialized Propaganda, Media Responsibility

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023
Christopher Benson
7:00pm CST

Zoom presentation

Event Description

Watch the video HERE

Ideally, in a democratic society, we have a government of, by and for the people. And the consent of the governed regarding public policy and policymakers is informed by a free and responsible press. But what happens when this process is distorted by a disinformation campaign set in motion by government elites and other opinion leaders who attempt to engineer public consent? Further, what is the effect of such a political project when the messaging is weaponized with sights focused on traditionally marginalized groups? Finally, what is the role of the news media in reporting the information of the day, assessing, contextualizing, critiquing, and clarifying such propaganda projects in contributing to enlightened public decision making? How might the conventions of journalism—the traditional rules and practices that guide the work of professional journalists—be used against the objectives of journalism? These are vital questions to consider as we find ourselves on the cusp of a new demographic reality, a new democratic reality, a truly plural society that is threatening to some in a racialized zero-sum game where sharing power is viewed as losing power.

Christopher Benson

Associate Professor
Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University