What to Do About Fake News
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What to Do About Fake News

Dean Baquet speaks on Trump administration, fake news outlets, and the future of media.

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What to Do About Fake News
Stony Brook University

One of the biggest concerns for modern media is the people's trust, and after the whirlwind that was the past year, trust in media has been causing a massive downfall for journalism. The rise of "fake news" and accusations of inaccurate, unbalanced journalism has created a storm that many future journalists must be prepared to enter.

Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, met with admitted students of Stony Brook University's School of Journalism, then presented at the Staller Center, where he discussed his upbringing, history, and the possible future of journalism in the wake of Trump's presidency and rise in "fake news" outlets.

Mr. Baquet, and the New York Times itself faced a lot of criticism since the election. Both leftists and rightists alike wrote into the Times against the paper's alleged "unbalanced" coverage of the candidates. As Mr. Baquet presented this, mentioning the numerous personal emails he had received as well, he added, "It seemed like the whole world was against me, the New York Times, and [journalism]."

However, Mr. Baquet spoke very positively of the avid readers that showed their support, and said that, though times had changed, the "core mission" of journalism had not. The role of journalists was not to bring down government, but to provide non-partisan work.

As advice to future journalists, Mr. Baquet strongly expressed the importance of having a tough stomach, as well as being able to "listen to the world but ignore the noise" and to not become "frozen in opposition".

Journalism itself isn't about saving the world, but finding its story. "Literally everyone has a story," said Mr. Baquet, "If you just shut up and listen."

Mr. Baquet also acknowledges that, though he believes the institution of journalism itself will remain strong, he isn't sure of what it may look like, driving the lecture towards the rise in internet media. Though journalists now may see it as a threat, Mr. Baquet saw it as a new way to get closer to the people, drawing in his own personal experience with the New York Times' recently adapted Virtual Reality feature.

All in all, Mr. Baquet gave future journalists a new perspective of news and media as a whole, and offered a positive outlooks on the current storm within the world of journalism.

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