30. October 2018 - 17:00 till 19:00
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Responsible journalism in the age of hyper-polarization | McGill Faculty Club and Conference Centre | Tuesday, 30. October 2018

For many observers, the American media’s commitment to “balance” contributed to President Trump’s victory by normalizing his views and behaviour and fueling the public’s belief that “both sides are corrupt”. This problem is only amplified when it comes to reporting on far-right nationalist groups, where the mere act of covering them can arguably provide them with undeserved legitimacy.
In response, people like NYU professor Jay Rosen have asserted that this is no time for balanced journalism; instead the media simply need to “declare their biases” as transparently as possible. But what does this mean in practice? For example, how should the media report on Quebec’s far-right group Atalante, whose members recently raided the office of Vice Magazine and threatened a reporter whose coverage they did not like? Or how can the media do its job in an environment where left-leaning social media mobs appoint themselves as overseers of editorial standards and decision-making, and are quick to condemn a publication for giving a voice or platform to figures who they consider beyond the pale of legitimate debate? And what are the implications from all this for public policy?
Join the Max Bell School of Public Policy in welcoming Phil Gohier, Mark Lloyd, and Jennifer Ditchburn for a conversation moderated by Andrew Potter, which explores the demands and responses of responsible journalism in dealing with these challenges.