Commonwealth Policy Center

PRESS RELEASE for immediate release
Commonwealth Policy Center Joins Journalist Panel in Discussion on "Fake News"
Date: July 30, 2018
Contact: Richard Nelson (270) 271-2713 or

The nonprofit Commonwealth Policy Center will be joining a diverse panel of journalists in Madisonville this Thursday to discuss news media issues including the problem of "fake news" and growing distrust of mainstream news media. "Trust in mainstream news outlets appears to be at an all-time low," said Richard Nelson, executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center. "Politically biased reporting and the rise in "fake news" have contributed to the decline in trust."

According to a Monmouth University poll 77 percent of Americans believe traditional news outlets spread "fake news." However, nearly two-thirds of respondents defined fake news as editorial decisions as to what topics are covered. Panelists will discuss how to spot fake news and will include perspective from the News Literacy Project, a national nonprofit organization that teaches news media discernment to students.

“The challenge of living in the digital age is to become more responsible news consumers,” Nelson said. “Distinguishing trustworthy from dubious sources and sorting out fact from fiction is the first step.” The forum will be moderated by Al Cross, professor of journalism and director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. Panelists include Jennifer P. Brown, co-chair of the Institute’s advisory board and former editor of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville; Mike Alexieff, editor of The (Madisonville) Messenger; and Ron Sanders of SurfKY News, based in Madisonville.

The free program will be held at the Brown Badgett Building, room 264 on the Madisonville Community College campus on Thursday, August, 2. It begins at 7 p.m. The public is urged to attend and the audience will be invited to ask questions.