VNN holds first virtual town hall on news industry problems

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 01/22/2021, 8:01 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(NATIONAL) Journalists from across the country met virtually Thursday night to kick off discussion about how the news industry can and needs to improve for the betterment of society. “Repairing the Divide” was the first in the virtual town hall series, tackling topics such as the decline of trust in news media and news media literacy. Panelists included VNN journalists Brittany Harlow, O’Neil Hesson, Rocky Brown and Rachael Schuit, as well as Dylan Goforth, editor in chief at the Frontier. The panel agreed that no one cause can be attributed to the deterioration of the relationship between news media and the public, but rather that a variety of factors are at play. Such factors include business models that depend on advertising revenue, the arrival of social media platforms, and the unchecked flow of misinformation online. VNN has provided a list of resources online to inform the public about some of these issues in more detail, including a section with virtual town hall partner “The Social Dilemma”: Other resources include a link to the New Literacy Project’s free lesson plan Checkology, which educates people on “how to identify credible information, seek out reliable sources, and apply critical thinking skills to separate fact-based content from falsehoods.” The event concluded with panelists agreeing the best ways to move forward and improve the news industry are to keep a strong connection to local communities and continue conversations to find out how the public can best be served. “Repairing the Divide” was sponsored by Inasmuch Foundation and BetaBlox. All sponsorship money received goes to funding local news stories in the panelists’ communities. Keep on the lookout for information about the next virtual town hall coming soon. Any public feedback on this event and what you would like to hear more about in the future is much appreciated. Please email with any questions, comments or concerns.


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