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Hobbs Talks about Fake News in Italy

Renee Hobbs was invited by the U.S. State Department to make a series of lectures and invited presentations in Italy the week of March 7 - 14, 2017 on the subject of media literacy and fake news. She demonstrated Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda, a crowdsourced gallery and educational resource featuring more than 800 examples of propaganda from around the world. In her talk, she explains how global networks and human information processing have altered tradititonal conceptualizations of authority and expertise. She identifies six types of "fake news," including: (1) disinformation, (2) propaganda, (3) hoaxes, (4) satire/parody, (5) inaccuracies in journalism and (6) partisanship. Hobbs also explores the question of whether labelling and algorithms can reduce the negative impact of fake news and considers educational strategies to address the problem, beginning in grade school and continuting to graduate school.  

THURSDAY MARCH 9

  • Perugia, RAI Journalism School. Seminar on “Understanding Fake News: Perspectives from the Scholarship on Digital and Media Literacy.” With Professor Dennis Redmont, Head of Communication, Development and Media at the Council for the United States and Italy (a think tank), former Director for the Mediterranean at Associated Press.
  • Perugia, RAI Journalism School. Seminar at the faculty of Political Science with o/a 50 students of the courses of sociology and of public communication. Topic: “How Digital Media Alter Concepts of Authority and Expertise: Deciding What to Believe in an Age of Fake News.” 
  • Colloquy with Charge d'Affaires Kelly Degnan and journalists and scholars at Villa Pinciana, Rome. 

FRIDAY MARCH 10

  • U.S. Embassy. Meeting with a group of journalists and university researchers from Milan and Lucca state universities to discuss fake news and misinformation. 
  • La Sapienza University. Seminar with students of the Masters course in Communications Sciences. Topic “How Digital Media Alter Concepts of Authority and Expertise: Deciding What to Believe in an Age of Fake News.”

MONDAY MARCH 13

  • U.S. Embassy. Roundtable with a group of librarians on “Media Literacy, Digital Literacy and Fake News.” Video interview with journalist from EIDOS media training institute.
  • Viterbo “La Tuscia” University. Seminar on “How Digital Media Alter Concepts of Authority and Expertise: Deciding What to Believe in an Age of Fake News” with students of the Masters course in Communications Sciences and of Sociology.