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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Trust, Transparency and the News

Written by Rich Copeland | May 14, 2017 8:00 PM

WITF News Director Tim Lambert at the Trust, Transparency and News Forum (photo: LancasterOnline)


On the Monday, May 15th edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

The importance of a free and independent press was enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

But now Americans are engaged in an intense debate about trust in news organizations... and how the spread of political propaganda, and fake stories online, can harm democracy.

Back in March, WITF and LNP hosted a forum at Elizabethtown College to discuss these issues. Reporters, editors, scholars, readers and listeners--tackled topics like media bias and the changing face of the news business.


StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick at the Trust, Transparency and News Forum (photo: LancasterOnline)

A recent Pew survey also shows Americans becoming more and more divided about the role of the press as a "watchdog" - holding political leaders accountable.

In 2016, about three-quarters of Republicans and Democrats said they agreed with that watchdog role. A year later, close to 90 percent of Democrats say it's important, compared to 42 percent of Republicans.

Today on Smart Talk, we'll take you inside that public forum, called Trust Transparency & the News and share with you the discussion that emerged.


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