Media literacy lecturers at MTSU help teachers, students define 'fake news'

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MTSU is hosting two events designed to help educators and students unravel the term "fake news."

Joel Breakstone, director of the Stanford University School of Education, will facilitate "Media Literacy Exercises for the Classroom," an exercise for educators, at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, in Room 100 of MTSU's James Union Building. A printable campus parking map is available at

Off-campus visitors should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU's Office of Parking and Transportation at


Breakstone's exercises are intended to help faculty to integrate digital media literacy into their teaching. He received the Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award from the National Council for the Social Studies in 2014. His research focuses on how teachers use assessment data to inform instruction.

Madeleine Baran, a reporter for American Public Media's national investigative reporting team, will present "On the Frontline: How Leading Researchers and Journalists Are Combating Fraudulent News" at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in MTSU's Keathley University Center Theater.


Baran is the host and lead reporter of the podcast "In the Dark." Her reporting includes the revelation of a decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy in the Minnesota-St. Paul archdiocese. She is the winner of two Peabody Awards and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting.

"Informed citizens are the pillars of a democracy," said Molly Taylor-Poleskey, an associate professor of history. "This series bridges the research, analytical and communication skills that students are learning in MTSU classrooms with the lifelong duty citizens have to inform themselves."

These events are sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Media and Entertainment, the James E. Walker Library and the Digital History Program. Both events are free and open to the public, but the Breakstone event is designed specifically for teachers. For more information, contact Taylor-Poleskey at 615-898-2423 or

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fake news, Joel Breakstone, Madeleine Baran, Middle Tennessee State University, MTSU, Murfreesboro news
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