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"Fake News": New Media and the Changing Political Culture in the US & Israel

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Ballots papers of Israeli legislative election, 2019. Israeli legislative election 2019 ballots (3)

Media experts and professionals will discuss fake news in the "post-truth era" and the challenges posed by this phenomenon.

Thursday, May 16, 2019
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
UCLA Royce Hall, Room 314
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Sponsored by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Middle East Development.

About the Event

Do we live in an era of post-truth? The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report warned in 2013 of the threat from a digitized, globalized media space used to intentionally spread misinformation. Three years later, "fake news" shaped the US election and redefined the relations between politics, media, and the truth.

In this program, media experts and professionals will discuss what constitutes "fake news" and the impact of this growing problem on the media landscape, politics, governance and democracy. With particular focus on Israel and the U.S., the panel will examine recent global trends and challenges regarding facts and news and the role politicians, media owners, journalists, and citizens play in the circulation and consumption of fake news.

About the Speakers

Anat Balint is a media scholar and lecturer at Tel Aviv University, an expert in the political economy of the media and a member of the editorial board of The Seventh Eye Israeli media watchdog. Balint was formerly a media correspondent for Haaretz. During her time at the distinguished daily newspaper, she focused her investigative work on uncovering the inner workings of the media industry in Israel. While pursuing her doctorate at the University of London, Balint continued her investigation into the industry through her research focused on native advertising ("branded content") and its harms to public trust in the media. Her publications include a policy paper for The Israel Democracy Institute titled "Inside the Box" which examined the blurring of lines between programming and commercials in Israeli television in recent decades. Currently she is an Israel Institute Grant Recipient. With the support of the Institute, she is teaching at San Francisco State University during the 2018-19 academic year, where she is leading the course "Israeli Media Landscape."

Jane Elizabeth is Managing Editor of The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun and former director of the American Press Institute's Accountability Journalism Program, which works to improve and expand accountability journalism. She is also a former deputy local editor at The Washington Post and has taught journalism at Old Dominion University, the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University. Elizabeth’s work as a reporter, editor and manager at a total of five metropolitan U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics and government. These publications have included the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and The Virginian-Pilot. She holds a master's degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and was a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Eytan Gilboa, Professor and Director of the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University, is a world-renowned expert on international communication, public diplomacy and US policy in the Middle East. He has been founder and first Director of both the School of Communication and the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Gilboa is also a senior visiting fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, a senior research associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, and Chair of the Israel Communication Association. His most recent books include Diplomacy in the Digital Age (forthcoming), US-Israel Relations in a New Era: Issues and Challenges after 9/11 (2009), and Media and Conflict: Framing Issues, Policy Making, Shaping Opinions (2002). He has also published numerous articles in scholarly periodicals in the fields of communication, international relations and political science and has been a visiting professor at several leading American and European universities. Currently, he is an Israel Institute Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tim Groeling is a professor in UCLA's Department of Communication and a leading scholar of political communications and new media. He has conducted research on partisan bias on network news shows, media coverage of foreign policy and the “rally-round-the-flag” phenomenon, and the newsworthiness of online political news. He has published two books, including the award-winning When Politicians Attack: Party Cohesion in the Media and the co-authored work War Stories: The Causes and Consequences of Public Views of War. Prof. Groeling has also published a number of articles on political communication and new media in leading academic journals, including "Media Bias by the Numbers: Challenges and Opportunities in the Empirical Study of Partisan News" and "New Media and the Polarization of American Political Discourse." At UCLA, he serves as the director of the UCLA Communication Studies News Archive Digitization Project and has created and continued to implement an award-winning academic project for his students in which they create their own political commercials.

Liron Lavi (Moderator) is a Research Fellow at the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies whose work explores political communication; elections and democracy; Israeli politics; philosophy of time; and national identity. Her current research focuses on the recent 2015 and 2019 Israeli elections and the 2016 US elections as she investigates new media's impacts on democracy and its legitimacy. Lavi has published several academic articles including "Voter Election Frames: What Were the Elections About?" and "Making Time for National Identity" in the prestigious academic journals Political Studies, Nations and Nationalism and others. She received her PhD in Political Science in 2017 from Tel-Aviv University, where she studied the role of time in elections and democracy in Israel. Her doctoral work earned her the Best Dissertation Award from the Israeli Political Science Association in May 2018. Lavi is the recipient of several other prestigious academic awards, including the 2013 Warren E. Miller Scholarship and the Faculty of Social Science Dean Excellence Award in 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Sponsor(s): Center for Middle East Development, Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies