Can democracy survive the rise of misinformation?

Is that a fact?

Sep 15 2020 • 31 mins

Today, a core element of American democracy — access to reliable information — is threatened. How did this happen? And how can American democracy survive the impact of misinformation? Our guest is Brendan Nyhan. He is a contributor to The Upshot at the New York Times and a co-founder at Bright Line Watch, a group that monitors the status of American democracy. He is a professor of government at Dartmouth College.

Is that a fact? is brought to you by the nonpartisan, non-profit News Literacy Project. In each episode of this 10-part series, we’ll bring in an expert to discuss an aspect of our current information environment that is threatening the promise of American democracy. We’ll also ask our experts to share some solutions, so you can become a more informed voter.

For more information about the News Literacy Project, go to newslit.org.

Relevant interviews and links:

  • The Dartmouth, 2/5/2020 Discussing coverage of Trump’s impeachment trials
  • Albright Institute at Wellesley College, 01/11/2018 Talk titled: Why Facts and Science Don’t Always Change People’s Minds
  • NHPR 5/24/2017 Talking about political misinformation and "fake news" post-Trump
  • WNYC, 7/20/2017 Interview about the backfire effect on WNYC’s On The Media
  • The Communications Network (no date) Talking about research on misinformation

Additional credit: Zoe Denckla provided research assistance and Miranda Shafer provided production assistance.

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