The American Press Institute will hold an invitation-only Thought Leader Summit on reporting decisions for our digital, polarized age on June 6-7, 2019 in Arlington, Va.
“Truth-Telling in the Modern Age: Strategies to Confront Polarization and Misinformation” will gather editors, journalists and experts outside of newsrooms to explore how people interpret information online and when polarized, and what this means for journalists going forward. The event will bring together people with a range of titles, all of whom have hands-on experience or big ideas on how to present reporting to polarized audiences, how to address misinformation among those audiences, and how to think about knowledge-sharing in our fractured, information-saturated environment.
This summit builds on API efforts to help journalists monitor the veracity of politician’s claims in the public sphere. In today’s environment, fact-checking is one of many ways to help audiences get to truth about their communities and country. But given the nature of information online — complete with manipulators and affected by people’s inner perceptions of information through emotion and group identity — journalists of all stripes must think critically about the way they present their reporting and how it will be interpreted.
Can journalists learn from fields like social psychology, neuroscience and conflict resolution, to better present their reporting to polarized audiences? Can they anticipate how people will seek to use similar insights to manipulate those audiences with misinformation and other nefarious views? Should journalists more broadly adopt new practices, in light of these challenges?
At our summit, we plan to hold in-depth discussions on these topics, with support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. This summit will kick off a body of work from API on journalism ethics in our digital, polarized age, with additional research and practical resources for newsrooms.
Unlike a typical conference, the intimate, interactive summit allows each attendee to be an active participant, sharing their expertise and experiences while gaining actionable insights from others. Discussion topics will be surfaced in advance by invitees before arrival in Arlington, just outside the nation’s capital.
Following the event, API will publish a resource outlining key ideas in truth-telling today, and inspiration for how journalists can confront polarization and misinformation. Susan Benkelman, API’s director of accountability journalism and a longtime reporter, will author the report.
Participating organizations include, among others:
100 Days in Appalachia
Bangor Daily News
Catholic News Agency
Christian Science Monitor
Data & Society
Duke Reporters’ Lab
El Nuevo Herald
Harvard Shorenstein Center
International Center for Journalists
Knoxville News Sentinel
Los Angeles Times
Louisiana State University
New York Times
New York University
NORC at the University of Chicago
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Raleigh News & Observer
Religion News Service
Resetting the Table
Society of Professional Journalists
Solutions Journalism Network
Southern California Public Radio
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
Wall Street Journal
WRLN, South Florida Public Media
Space is limited at API Thought Leader Summits and participation is by invitation only; however, people interested in participating may apply for consideration. We look for individuals and organizations advancing the summit’s topic area, with efforts to show. We believe a diversity of lived experiences, skill sets and backgrounds makes these events successful.
For more information, contact Kevin Loker, API’s director of program operations and partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.