Posted on: April 28, 2017

News, Fake News, & Democracy

In May, the Downtown Library will host a number of expert talks and workshops related to the timely topics of journalism, “fake news,” and democracy. Admission is free.

Democracy and Civic Engagement 

Andrew DeVigal, UO Chair of Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement

Wednesday, May 3, 6:00, Downtown Library

Recent developments in technology have wrought great changes in the communication and media industry – and, maybe more importantly, altered society. The technology that is supposed to bring people closer may also be eroding the facual environment democracy needs to thrive. While hoaxes and propaganda are not new, never before has everyone been able to share opinions or broadcast real-time events globally.

Join Andrew DeVigal for a talk about the ways in which good journalism and facts are inextricably linked to the health of democracy. He will also lead discussion of potential solutions to the thorny issues of trust, civic life, and public knowledge.vDeVigal is the Chair of Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement, and the first professor of practice, at the School of Journalism and Communication and the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon. DeVigal is an Emmy-award winning journalist and was formerly multimedia editor at The New York Times.

Reporting the Oregon Story

Floyd McKay, reporter and political analyst

Wednesday, May 17, 6:00, Downtown Library

Veteran journalist Floyd McKay will discuss the political forces and personalities that shaped modern Oregon, with a particular focus on the political rivalry of Bob Straub and Tom McCall. McKay is the author of “Reporting the Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed a State.”

Oregon entered a new era in 1964 with the election of Tom McCall as Secretary of State and Bob Straub as State Treasurer. Their political rivalry formed the backdrop for two of Oregon’s most transformative decades, as they successively fought for, lost, and won the governorship. Floyd McKay had a front-row seat as a political reporter for The Oregon Statesman in Salem, and then as news analyst for KGW-TV in Portland. Later in his career, he chaired the Department of Journalism at Western Washington University.

Fake News: Why It Matters and How to Fight It

UO Journalism professors Damian Radcliffe and Peter Laufer

Tuesday, May 23, 6:00, Downtown Library

Explore the current debate about fake news with University of Oregon journalism professors Damian Radcliffe and Peter Laufer. These information experts will offer historical insights, contemporary analysis, and practical tools to empower the public in telling fact from fiction.

Damian Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon and a fellow of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, as well as a regular contributor to the BBC, Huffington Post, and others. Peter Laufer is the James Wallace Chair Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. An international news correspondent and award-winning author, he has written over 18 books and produced documentaries for NBC News.

Citizen Journalism Workshop

Aryn Bartley and Joshua Daniels of Lane Community College

Thursday, May 25, 6:00, Downtown Library

“Citizen journalism” is now everywhere, as new technologies have made it possible for the general public to play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information. Learn about citizen journalism and the basics of investigative reporting at this workshop with Aryn Bartley and Joshua Daniels, writing instructors at Lane Community College.

For more information about these events, contact Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 or

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