Faculty, Fake News, and Teaching

Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communications and media at Merrimack College, has an interesting, if disturbing essay about her efforts to teach her students about how to deal with fake news stories and false information. She relates how her compilation of fake sources went viral and the various threats and harassment directed at her for her efforts. She offers up an interesting assessment that is particularly relevant for the times we live in: “In an era of students’ secretly filming classes, guns on campused, and professor watchlists, it feels like a scary time to be a professor – which means it’s an important time to be a professor.” The essay was published in the January 20, 2017 issue of The Chronicle Review, p. B16 (the entire issue was focused on “post-truth.”

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