Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics


The Truth About Fake News

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American Politics | Journalism Studies


With the phrase "fake news" increasingly used in jokes and memes, the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics convened a panel of journalists at the University of Mississippi for a conversation on the sobering truth about fake news and how the phenomenon is undercutting the foundation of our democracy. Leading the discussion was Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, who has called on the media to retire the phrase. “ ‘Fake news’ has had its 15 minutes of fame,” she wrote in a column. “Let’s put this tainted term out of its misery.” Joining Sullivan in the conversation was Charles L. Overby, chairman of the Overby Center and a long-time newspaper executive. He is also the former chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and Diversity Institute. In addition, Greg Brock, a senior fellow at the Overby Center joined Sullivan, with whom he worked at The New York Times. Brock was an editor for 20 years at The Times before retiring in 2017.

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