For as long as we’ve been a nation, the media has played a critical role in holding leaders and institutions accountable. There’s a reason our first amendment protects the press, and any journalism 101 student can rattle off the historical milestones that have been shaped by the media, from Upton Sinclair’s coverage of heinous working conditions to the leak of the Pentagon Papers, to the more recent #MeToo movement and more.
Journalism has always held the potential to be a force for good, for much-needed change. It also has its pitfalls: talking at, instead of with, readers. Parachuting into communities without taking time to understand cultures and histories. Being — and denying — their own biases, political and otherwise.
And you don’t need us to tell you about the myriad societal shifts that have plagued journalism and journalists in recent times: fake news and the influence of social media; partisan funders and political agendas; unconscionable threats to the livelihoods and lives of those reporting on the front lines.
At a time when good journalism is needed more than ever, it is simultaneously under attack and failing its audience.
These issues and more will be up for discussion at “Truth and the Media, Post-Midterms,” brought to you by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, a star-studded kickoff event for our 5th annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival. The lineup includes: New York Times Magazine writer Emily Bazelon, former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, The 19th’s Errin Haines and Spotlight PA’s Chris Baxter, in conversation with MSNBC anchor and Citizen board member Ali Velshi.
The event will be held on Wednesday, December 14, from 6 to 8pm at Quorum at University City Science Center. It’s free and open to the public, though you must register in advance here (and quickly! Seats are filling fast).
We hope to see you there for a lively discussion, and we hope you’ll join us the next day for our full-day Festival, too.
Wednesday, December 14, 6-8pm, Quorum at University City Science Center, 3675 Market Street; tickets are free, but you must register here.
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