#HumCitizen: Moment of Truth: Journalism and Democracy in the Misinformation Age

Presented by:
Humanities Washington
Current Initiative: Democracy and the Informed Citizen National Partner: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Pulitzer Prizes Subject: Journalism, Literacy, Other Audience: All

The council will create eleven Think & Drink events in five locations across Washington, along with two larger public events featuring a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on either side of the state (geographically and politically) – Spokane and Seattle. Topics to be explored are “fake news,” new technology, and the future of journalism. Two high school workshops with the visiting journalist, in conjunction with the public event, will bring students into this timely conversation.


An Evening with Doris Kearns Goodwin – Seattle, WA – Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian, public speaker, and author of numerous books including The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism; Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and the forthcoming Leadership in Turbulent Times, which will explore presidential leadership throughout history. This event kicks off our statewide fall series, “Moment of Truth: Journalism and Democracy in the Age of Misinformation.” Free events will be held in Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, Tri-Cities, and Tacoma, featuring local journalists and experts. Presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.


Think & Drink: Breaking News – The State of American Journalism Seattle, WA – Journalism plays a vital role in a democracy—a free press is among the first institutions to be gutted in an autocracy—and a thriving press is a sign of civic health. But dramatically falling revenue, the decimation of smaller newspapers, and an increasing reliance on the whims of a few social media companies for reach has thrown the industry into turmoil.

Worse, public trust in journalists has become deeply polarized. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 72% of Democrats say they have a “great deal or fair amount” of trust in the media. Republicans? 14%.

Are journalists simply neutral fact-finders, or is there good reason for this mistrust? Does the media lean liberal? Are the struggles journalists face just growing pains as they adjust to a new digital age, or signs of a slow death? How seriously should we take some of President Trump’s threats to journalists? Should we fear censorship or First Amendment curtailments?

Join us as we examine the state of the news, featuring: Seattle Times Reporter, Marcus Harrison Green; associate editor of the Stranger, Eli Sanders; and University of Washington Communications professor and researcher of Seattle journalism, Matthew Powers. Moderated by Crosscut journalist Knute Berger