Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium seeks to challenge media misinformation and educate UI community

PolitiFact editor Katie Sanders to deliver keynote at annual media ethics symposium


Katie Sanders | Courtesy

The Argonaut- The University of Idaho’s Student Paper

By: Grace Giger, Argonaut Life Editor 

Date: 3.26.23

In a time where discerning truth from a constant stream of information is becoming increasingly difficult, the School of Journalism and Mass Media hopes to shine a light on resources students can use to detect misinformation. This year’s Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium on Monday March 27 features a keynote from PolitiFact managing editor Katie Sanders. The symposium will begin at 4 p.m. in the Vandal Ballroom of the Pitman Center and a reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Chief’s Lounge of the Pitman Center. This free event is open to all University of Idaho students as well as anyone interested in learning more about media, ethics and finding accurate and reliable information. Sanders’ presentation “Finding Truth in a Sea of Misinformation” will cover the work done at PolitiFact and teach attendees how to do their own research and fact checking.

School of Journalism and Mass Media faculty member and symposium coordinator, Kenton Bird, explained that the Oppenheimer Symposium was created to help educate the UI community about media literacy and ethics.

“One of our goals is to raise the media literacy of our student population, both Journalism and Mass Media majors, but also students from around the university,” Bird said.
The symposium is named after brothers Doug and Skip Oppenheimer who are UI alumni and support this event with the aim of educating UI students about different aspects of ethics and media. Speakers for the event are chosen from prominent professionals who have a unique perspective to bring to the UI community.

“What we’ve been trying to do is bring somebody that’s not necessarily a big name, but somebody who’s respected in their field experience with different types of journalism or media issues,” Bird said. “Somebody who would be a good role model for our students.”

This symposium comes at a critical time between the 2022 midterms and the presential election of 2024, a time where knowing the truth about political information is more crucial than ever.
“We all want to be informed when we cast our votes, this will be a way to sort of get up to speed and help people understand that there’s so much information out there and not all of it is easily verifiable,” Bird said. “But there are some really good resources out there.”

Attendees will learn more about how to improve their media literacy skills through Sanders’ interactive presentation. There will also be a question-and-answer session with Sanders moderated by Idaho Public Television host Melissa Davlin. The symposium promises an informational and relevant experience for all in attendance.
“Another goal of the symposium is to just help people become more informed consumers of the mass media,” Bird said. “As well as to become more informed voters, to be able to make better decisions not only in the polling place, but in all other opportunities for political participation.”

Grace Giger can be reached at [email protected]

Original Story: https://www.uiargonaut.com/2023/03/26/oppenheimer-ethics-symposium-seeks-to-challenge-media-misinformation-and-educate-ui-community/