Denius Symposium on News Integrity

National news leaders examine principles of modern reporting

A panel of journalists and scholars convened Oct. 21 at the inaugural Denius Symposium on News Integrity, a new series launched by the School of Journalism and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, to stir conversation in the media about ethical values in the press.

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Topics included the mesh of traditional and emerging media forms, the expanding role of data and new forms of interactivity, the best way to harness audience engagement, expectations and outreach and how this affects the integrity, objectivity and quality of news in the digital age.

“Trying to define what we mean by news—by journalism today—is more difficult than you might think,” said moderator Regina Lawrence, director of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. “We live in this dramatically chaotic and varied media environment.”

Also sparking analysis was the concrete verification of factual information with the speed at which journalists are now required to deliver.

“Readers make their own decisions about what they consider a credible news outlet and what they don’t and what I find is the work proves itself in the long run,” said Angie Drobnic Holan, editor of PolitiFact. “It really goes back to what does the evidence say—what do the facts on the ground show and we can have a conversation around that—but sometimes [readers] still don’t agree.”

Joining Lawrence and Holan were panelists Lisa Myers, former NBC News chief congressional correspondent; Mike Wilson, editor of The Dallas Morning News; and Keith Woods; vice president of diversity in news and operations at National Public Radio.

School of Journalism Director R.B. Brenner said the symposium is the first in a series to explore important and timely issues in reporting.

“[This] is the first in a continuing examination of the issue of news integrity, values, trust, and perhaps trickiest of all, objectivity,” said Brenner. “Future events will include newsmakers who have been covered by journalists and consumers of news who have been troubled by what they hear, see and read.”

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer