2020 Scheidel Lecture: The Future of Journalism in a Post-Truth Democracy

February 19, 2020 || Reception 3:45-4:55 p.m. || Lecture 5-6:30 p.m. || Walker Ames Room, Kane 225

The UW Department of Communication is excited to welcome Dr. Regina G. Lawrence to Seattle to present the 2020 Scheidel lecture. Dr. Lawrence is the Associate Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) in Portland, and Director of the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on press-state relations, journalism innovation, journalistic norms and routines, and the role of the media, gender, and social identity in political communication.

Lecture abstract: Over the past few decades, journalism has undergone a profound and prolonged crisis. Technological transformations disrupted commercial journalism’s business model and gave the power to produce and disseminate information to anyone with a cell phone. At a deeper level, the public has grown increasingly disaffected with traditional media. Public distrust in the news has been rising for decades; among some Americans, that distrust has curdled into something like hatred.

Amid a rising sense that the country has entered a “post-truth” era, the legacy press probably cannot defend its usefulness and authoritativeness merely by leaning into conventional journalistic norms, such as objectivity. But journalists may be able to reframe their (waning) institutional and informational authority through bold experiments in rebuilding—or building for the first time—deeper connections with the communities they serve.

To register for this lecture through Cvent, click here.

Speaker bio: Dr. Regina G. Lawrence (PhD, University of Washington) has been chair of the Political Communication section of the American Political Science Association, book editor for the journal Political Communication, and a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University. Dr. Lawrence’s books include “When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina” (University of Chicago Press, 2007, with W. Lance Bennett and Steven Livingston), winner of the 2016 Doris A. Graber Best Book Award from the Political Communication section of the American Political Science Association; and “Hillary Clinton’s Race for the White House: Gender Politics and the Media on the Campaign Trail” (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009, with Melody Rose).

About the Scheidel lecture: A long-standing tradition since 1998, this event honors Professor Thomas Scheidel’s lifetime of scholarship, teaching, and academic leadership by bringing distinguished scholars to the UW Department of Communication to meet and engage with faculty and students who are pursuing advanced studies in communication.