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Indianapolis event to explore media literacy, ethics


Rod Hicks, Director of Ethics and Diversity, 317-954-0025, rhicks@spj.org
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Specialist, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is partnering with the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and local organizations to hold a free event on media literacy and ethics in Indianapolis.

“How True is What I Read in the News and Why Should I Care?” is a panel discussion held at Butler University for Central Indiana residents to hear directly from local and national journalists and learn about a variety of issues related to media ethics and literacy. The discussion will feature Arika Herron from The Indianapolis Star, Farah Yousry from WFYI and The Indianapolis Recorder and Erik Wemple from The Washington Post.

The event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. EDT Thursday in the Reilly Room in Atherton Union.

Lee Anne Peck, assistant professor at Colorado State University who focuses on media ethics, will moderate the conversation. It will include topics such as: What goes on in a newsroom to give us faith that the news being reported isn’t fake, but rather is fact-based? What are the ethical standards that journalists adhere to? How do they ensure that their reporting is fair and balanced? How has the rise of social media disrupted the way we consume news?

At least 20 minutes of the conversation will be open to Q&A from the audience. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

“To many people, ‘the media’ has an agenda and is biased,” said Kristen Fuhs Wells, executive director of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. “Through this event, we’ll get to hear from local and national journalists to get their side of the story. Together, we’ll learn from these professionals about what makes them journalists, how we can empower and seek out trustworthy journalists, and why it matters that those who deliver the news earn – and keep – our trust.”

“I hope attendees leave with a better understanding of how much effort journalists put into making sure they get all the details in their story right,” said Rod Hicks, SPJ director of ethics and diversity. “In today’s environment, when anyone can amass a huge audience on social media and distribute all kinds of information, it’s even more important for journalists to distinguish themselves by basing their stories on evidence, being accurate and fair in their reporting and adhering to high ethical standards.”

This program is made possible thanks to a partnership between Butler University’s College of Communication, WFYI Public Media, SPJ and APPE. Grant funding was provided by Indiana Humanities with funds from the American Rescue Plan.

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