Two College of Communication and the Arts professors have been featured on the National Communication Association's (NCA) home page for their commentary piece titled "Fake News, Real Solutions: Journalism History and Pope Francis' Message for World Communications Day 2018."
Published as part of the NCA's new Current Commentary series, the collaboration between Jon Radwan Ph.D, Associate Professor of Communication, and Matthew Pressman Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Journalism, offers a practical, education-focused response to Pope Francis' solution to fake news – "forming" people's good nature and honesty with education and media literacy.
"Fake News, Real Solutions" acknowledges the issue of fake news, or disinformation that seeks advantage via manipulative and deceptive rhetoric, agreeing with Pope Francis that combatting fake news requires more than media gatekeepers, but rather every individual and his/her goodwill. Radwan and Pressman propose an important approach to preventing fake news noting: "Post-modern liberty requires media literacy and production training – the ability to both recognize and produce honest, ethical and effective content."
"Pope Francis offered a great potential solution to this universal problem… in his message, there is depth and richness which is characteristic of the Catholic tradition," said Radwan. "In our analysis, we stress both recognition and production. We must go beyond just receiving the news and become responsible for producing the truth. Post-modern truth is for everyone to protect, not just journalists."
In combining their communication and journalistic expertise, Radwan and Pressman produced a historical arc exploring the precedents of fake news, opening the conversation to other NCA members, readers and scholars within the communication discipline as a whole.
With over 7,000 members, the NCA launched Current Commentary, a collection of essays within Communication Contexts, to enable leading communication scholars to merge their academic foci with reader-friendly pieces on timely issues. "Current Commentary allowed us to take an interdisciplinary approach to this question," said Pressman. "It's a middle ground between a journal article and an op-ed, so it provides a great platform to give an academic perspective in a timely, accessible way."
To keep up with the news cycle, works submitted to the Current Commentary series are scrutinized by a board of scholars in an expedited peer-review process. Read "Fake News, Real Solutions" here.
Learn more about Seton Hall University's scholarly exploration of communication topics critically important to religion and society by visiting the College's Institute for Communication and Religion landing page or emailing ICR@shu.edu.