Freedom of the Press in the Digital Age

In this digital era and in the age of fake news, what does freedom of the press mean?

Elizabeth Skewes, a former journalist who is now associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder College of Media, Communication, and Information says the first thing that we need to think when we talk about freedom of the press is how we define journalism when anyone with a twitter account has the ability to spread information.


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“We need to think more clearly about what we mean about the press and what we expect from journalism and what we expect from other source of information providers. We need to start making clear distinctions between what we mean about journalism and what we mean about the flow of information.”

With legitimate news stories are being labeled as fake news because someone disagrees with the reporting, and actual fake news stories proliferating social media, Skewes says that media literacy is crucial for people.

“What we need is to provide is media literacy, there is a few simple steps you can do before you widely share it and that is accurate. Read broadly across a variety of media venues, people need to double check the sources”

Skewes says that the current situation is being exacerbated by President Trump’s tendency to label any critical news coverage as fake news.

“One of the biggest problems that we have nowadays is that if we have the president of the United States is calling fake news that he doesn’t like fake news that gives license to people the permission to legitimized what is not true. We need to get people to get the understanding that it is a serious business, people need to get better informed”

Elizabeth Skewes is one of the panelists speaking at a forum on Freedom of Speech in the Digital Age,  presented by the League of Women Voters of Boulder County at the Louisville Public Library from 6.30-8pm Thursday January 25th.

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