Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed?

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/03/2018


Yumeka Brown

Program Officer

Freedom to Read Foundation



Join the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) for Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed? a webinar on Friday, October 12 at 1 p.m. Central. This is a webinar version of the Intellectual Freedom Committee program that Moderator Emily Knox and other panelists offered at ALA’s Annual Meeting last summer.

"Fake news" has always been part of the communication landscape. The difference now is that we are inundated with social media that makes it possible to disseminate "fake news” quickly and easily. In the past "fake news" was used as propaganda to isolate individuals or groups of people, destabilize governments, and foment anarchy. "Fake news" may be inaccurate, dishonest, misleading, intentionally untrue, and even intended to damage the paradigm of factual information. But is it illegal? Is it protected by the First Amendment? Can "fake news" -- or suppressing it -- undermine our democratic way of life?

About the Speakers:

Emily Knox – Webinar Moderator ~ Emily Knox is an assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices.

Nicole A. Cooke ~ Nicole Cooke is an Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director at the School of Information Sciences, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she is also the Program Director for the MS in Library and Information Science program. Dr. Cooke’s research and teaching interests include human information behavior (particularly in the online context), critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship (with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy).

Joyce Valenza ~ After completely 25 years as a teacher librarian in K12 education, and several more as a public and special librarian, Joyce joined the faculty of Rutgers University where she prepares future librarians to lead cultures of literacy and to engage communities. She speaks globally about the thoughtful use of technology in learning, emerging literacies and the power of librarians to lead. In 2017 she was awarded AASL's new Social Media Leadership Luminary Award.

Damaso E. Reyes ~ Damaso is a multimedia journalist and the News Literacy Project’s director of partnerships. He is also a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, focusing on migration issues. A 2008 Fulbright Scholar, Damaso has received several grants and awards, including a 2007 Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, a 2012 Knight-Luce Fellowship for reporting on global religion, a 2013 French-American Foundation Fellowship for immigration reporting and a 2015 Holbrooke Fellowship from the International Center for Journalists.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn to define and engage in discussion on the topic of Fake News
  • Attendees will gain deeper insight into the First Amendment and legal aspects of Fake News
  • The webinar will encourage thoughtful dialogue around a prevalent topic in our current political and educational climate

Who should attend:

  • Librarians and library students
  • Educators
  • Individuals involved in media, publishing, and social media
  • Individuals interested in the first amendment, censorship, copyright, and legal aspects of news, media, and social media

How to Register:

Register here: https://www.ftrf.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1155839


The Freedom to Read Foundation is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association. FTRF was created in 1969 with the following purpose; promoting and protecting the freedom of speech and of the press; protecting the public's right of access to information and materials stored in the nation's libraries; safeguarding libraries' right to disseminate all materials contained in their collections; and supporting libraries and librarians in their defense of First Amendment rights by supplying them with legal counsel or the means to secure it. The Freedom to Read Foundation is managed by a board of 15 trustees, 11 elected and four ex officio. Terms are two years, and board members may serve two terms. Trustees meet twice a year in conjunction with ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings. Join us today to have access to this and other educational opportunities.  Students may receive a 1-year free FTRF membership through the Robert P. Holley Fund.


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