All the Fake News That’s Fit to Print: Upcoming Talks on Politics and Journalism

By Alison Durkee

In today’s political climate, journalism has been an essential tool for dispensing informationand come under attack as “fake news.” Make sense of our current “post-fact” environment, and get a handle on actual facts and journalism, with these upcoming talks and events on journalism and our current moment.

Delve into our current “fake reality” with a talk September 27 on journalism, legitimacy, and “post-fact America” with Politifact founder Bill Adair and officials from BuzzFeed, the Associated Press, and WNYC. The discussion will focus on journalism and fact checking in our political climate and how our divided nation at times deals with a set of incompatible “facts.” For a closer look at the journalistic piece currently being decried as “fake news” by the president, Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will appear in conversation September 12 to discuss his explosive account of the Trump administration.

Of course, a critical aspect of our current journalistic landscape is the changing way that we consume news itself, thanks to our fragmented attention spans in a tech-filled society. Learn more about the crisis of our distracted society and how we can change in a talk September 12. For a look at the role of fiction in journalism, catch the September 14 conversation between German New Journalism star Tom Kummer and literary theorist Philipp Theisohn.

To discover more about how photography can be used journalistically to depict a complicated issue, head to Revolution Books on September 7 for a discussion on Aperture Magazine’s latest issue on prison reform. For a look at the current issues in our country from a first-person, rather than objective journalistic, perspective, meanwhile, head to a book talk on Who Will Speak for America? (September 27), a collection of literary responses to our current political moment that wrestle with America and American identity. On September 19, author Jose Antonio Vargas will discuss his own first-person account of the challenges faced by undocumented immigrants in the book Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen with MSNBC host Joy Reid.

This fall will also give New Yorkers the chance to delve deeper into the issues that dominate the headlines, thanks to more thorough events that go beyond a single article. Ahead of the November midterm elections, head to a talk on voter suppression with author Carol Anderson September 12, or wrestle with questions of national security at an Intelligence Squared debate with foreign policy experts September 20. Understand how Puerto Rico is faring a year after the devastation of Hurricane Maria at a talk September 13, and then delve into the climate change making these natural events even worse at a talk on climate justice with former President of Ireland and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change Mary Robinson September 27. On September 13, New Yorkers can also get a view on foreign policy at a talk on Russia and China’s illiberal ideologies with Financial Times journalist Charles Clover.

Upcoming events will also offer the chance to hear directly from political leaders themselves as they reflect on their careers and public service. Past Surgeons General will discuss their role as “America’s doctor” at an event October 15, and former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright will appear in conversation October 16.

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