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Leading the international debate around 'fake news' in 'post-truth' era

22 September 2017

Professor Silvio Waisbord
Professor Silvio Waisbord opened this year's conference.

The School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC) held its 6th Future of Journalism conference at Cardiff University's Sir Martin Evans Building on Thursday and Friday, 14 and 15 September 2017.

The Future of Journalism conference series is organised by JOMEC and co-sponsored by the academic publisher Routledge, Taylor and Francis. It provides a scholarly environment for academics to present their current thinking and research to an audience of leading journalism scholars and practitioners from around the world.

Two hundred delegates from across Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, and Australia took part in four plenary lectures and forty themed sessions across both days.

The conference was opened by Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Professor Stuart Allan.

Speaking after the conference he said, "Our theme for the conference was 'Journalism in a post-truth age', recognising we use phrases like ‘post-truth,’ ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ advisedly because these are politically charged terms. We must be careful not to naturalise or normalise them.

"Instead we wanted to subject them to critique, challenge them and to question the ways in which they invite a larger debate around the future of journalism. Our aim to help set an agenda to rethink what counts as journalism and the ways in which we can improve its quality and integrity going forward."

The conference featured four distinguished international keynote speakers. On day one Professor Silvio Waisbord of George Washington University and Claire Wardle of First Draft opened proceedings, followed later that day by Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO. Professor Linda Steiner of the University of Maryland delivered the conference's closing plenary.

During the conference delegates highlighted, commented and debated the themes under discussion on social media using the hashtag #FoJ2017.

Following the closing plenary Max Hänska‏ (@MaxHanska) tweeted "Outstanding #FOJ2017 at @CardiffJomec a fantastic conference" while Eddy Borges Rey‏ (@eborgesrey) tweeted "What a stimulating couple of days! Thanks @bennettlucyk, @StuartAllan123 and the rest of the organising committee of #FoJ2017 see U #FoJ2019"

The School will now prepare special issues of the journals Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice and Digital Journalism. Each will contain a selection of the best papers presented at the conference.

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