‘Fake news’ a key focus for upcoming Cal Poly journalism symposium

Cal Poly will host a symposium Friday evening dedicated to exploring current conditions that threaten journalism’s foundations, including eroding public trust and the rise of “fake news.”

The third biennial Jim Hayes Symposium, named for the late Cal Poly professor, will bring together a panel of news media experts for a discussion from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Laboratory (Building 7).

Kevin Riggs, vice president of Randle Communications and a political analyst for KCRA in Sacramento, will moderate.

Peter Hartlaub, pop culture critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, will be the master of ceremonies for the event.

Other speakers include: Cindy Carcamo, staff writer for The Los Angeles Times; Martin G. Reynolds, director of investigative fellowships for Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting; Jan Schaffer, ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; David Rothschild, economist for Microsoft Research NYC; and Lauren Williams, editor-in-chief for Vox.

“Since the 2016 election, Americans have been focused on so-called ‘fake news,’ and, unchallenged, this phenomenon is nothing less than a threat to our democracy,” Cal Poly journalism department chair Mary Glick said in a news release.

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“But the challenges to journalism today are part of a larger, high-stakes battle that pits journalistic values against the need to drive audiences and profits — all within a highly partisan political arena operating within a rapidly changing media landscape.”

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are recommended.

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