“Confronting the Misinformation Society”
Lecture Series: Pockrass Memorial Lecture
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library
Victor Pickard, an associate professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Pockrass Memorial Lecture, a free public session titled "Confronting the Misinformation Society: A Political Economic Critique of Digital Journalism." Pickard believes the proliferation of misinformation afflicting democratic societies stems from structural pathologies in our communication systems. From Facebook’s unaccountable monopoly power to the demise of reliable journalism, a misinformation ecosystem has taken root. He believes this is particularly true in the United States where entire regions and issues lack media coverage at a time when robust reporting is desperately needed. These growing “news deserts” are disproportionately harming specific groups and areas, especially communities of color, rural districts, and lower socio-economic neighborhoods. Such systemic problems require radical structural reforms. Toward that aim, his talk will focus on the ongoing collapse of commercial journalism and the policies necessary for establishing public alternatives.