Should the News Take Sides?

How to Better Connect with Citizens and Communities
Wed, 27 March, 2019 6:00pm

America is in a time of crisis for politics, journalism and civil discourse. How can journalists better connect with the citizens and communities they serve?

A free press is crucial to democracy, but misinformation is causing confusion, public trust in the media is falling and local news outlets struggle to stay alive.

Nationally, news has become more driven by opinion with growing suspicion by the public while, in communities around America, people want to engage more with local journalism but aren't paying.

GW's School of Media & Public Affairs, the White House Correspondents’ Association and Pew Research Center will bring together expert panelists in politics and journalism for a local and national perspective on building the bridge between journalists and the American people.

How can facts, civil discourse and real engagement be reinforced amid fractious politics and distrust?

Journalists play an essential role in an informed society, but fulfilling that role, according to new research, requires building genuine connections to readers and their communities.

One month before the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, one day after the release of a major Pew Research Center study of the local news landscape across the U.S. and as part of GW's commemoration of Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, there's never been a better time to explore the importance of a free press and what Americans want from their news media.


Janet H. Brown, Executive Director, Commission on Presidential Debates

Frank Fahrenkopf, Co-Chair, Commission on Presidential Debates

Paul Huntsman, Publisher and Owner, The Salt Lake Tribune

Olivier Knox, White House Correspondents’ Association President and SMPA Terker Distinguished Fellow (co-moderator)

Anita Kumar, White House correspondent and associate editor, Politico

Amy Mitchell, Director of Journalism Research, Pew Research Center

Frank Sesno, SMPA Director (co-moderator)




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