Noise v.s. news

n   Amanda Cook-Fesperman, IVCC’s Political Science and History Professor opened the “Noise V News” series on April 6. Cook-Fesperman spoke on First Amendment Rights and protecting democracy. In the second part of the series, it was Professor Bill Cassidy of Northern Illinois University who spoke on “Online Journalism and the Proliferation of Fake News” Cassidy gave the audience information on how online news and information has drastically changed in recent years and how that has impacted fake news. Cassidy referred to the recent ease of access to more news and information via online news and media outlets and its pros and cons. Cassidy said it is easy to forget what you are looking for on the internet, and to get lost in the process. “With great talent comes great responsibility” Cassidy said, referring to journalists.

     The third part in the series was “The Allure of Fake News: Journalism, Ethics, and Critical Thinking in the age of Misinformation” presented by Stephanie Craft of The University of Illinois, where she is Professor of media. Craft was a vibrant and expressive speaker who shared antidotes and stories of  fake news from as far back as the 1900’s in Germany. Craft showed how fake news and partially fake news has been around for decades, only recently becoming more prevalent. Craft gave pointers on how to decipher fake or partially fake news from real news, while explaining that many sites have made a lot of money off fake news stories and says the money plays a huge role in perpetuating it. “It costs a whole lot more money to gather real news than it does to make up fake news in your bath robe” said Craft, with a slight tone of humor.