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NABJ Drops Knowledge on Misinformation in the Media

Chicago journalist share their point of view in a NABJ panel discussion about misinformation. Participants include (L-R): Deborah Douglas, Midwest Director of the Solutions Journalism hub at Northwestern; Evan F. Moore, NABJ-CC Vice President of Print; Monique Mulima, Editor-in-Chief of 14 East Magazine; Tiffany Walden, Editor in Chief at The Triibe and DeMario Phipps-Smith, Senior Manager of Community Learning at the News Literacy Project.

In this day and age, most of the information and news we consume comes from our phones and the media. The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) recently hosted an event talking about misinformation and how dangerous it can be.

“If you want to reach younger people, I think you have to be on social media,” said Monique Mulima, a journalism Master’s student at DePaul University, where she is Editor-in-Chief at 14 East Magazine. “Even as a journalist, I follow a lot of news sites on social media and that’s where I see the stories that are coming out.”

Held at DePaul’s Loop Campus at 14 E. Jackson Blvd, “How Journalism Claps Back At Misinformation” consisted of a panel of speakers including Mulima, Deborah Douglas, Midwest Director of the Solutions Journalism hub at Northwestern; Tiffany Walden, Editor in Chief at The Triibe and DeMario Phipps-Smith, Senior Manager of Community Learning at the News Literacy Project.

The speakers all came from different publications while holding different positions, but they all had great contributions to the conversations held including misinformation and objectivity.

“We all have our opinions and thoughts and stories,” said Evan F. Moore, the event’s moderator and NABJ-CC Vice President of Print. “Even pitching a story is our opinion,” he said regarding objectivity.

Misinformation is something frequently seen on the internet. Because news spreads so quickly online, it becomes difficult to determine what’s real and what’s not without doing further research.

“Misinformation is one of the pressing issues of our time,” said Phipps-Smith. “With the proliferation of social media and media messages in general, right now is such a critical time to have this discussion and to help come up with solutions and think about a game plan to increase people’s literacy around information and news.”

Statistics regarding race of workers at large media corporations such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were also detailed. A 2020 report from the Sun-Times stated that less than five percent of the workers at these corporations are Black. The lack of diversity, even from these large media companies, can also contribute to misinformation spread to the public. Even more reason to change up the staff.

“We have to start educating the public about why they need journalists, why they need journalism,” said Phipps-Smith. “I don’t think a lot of people have been educated on how important news is for them to be engaged citizens in our democracy.”

To learn more about NABJ Chicago and its events, visit their website at nabjchicago.org.

 

By Cierra Lemott, Senior, Columbia College Chicago

Instagram: @cece.kodak / @kodakscamera

 

Help us continue to lift youth voices in their schools and communities. Donate to True Star at: elevate.truestarfoundation.org.

 

Written by Cierra Lemott

I'm a professional procrastinator and my hobbies include sleeping, eating, and Netflix binging.

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