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Sunday 18 August 2019
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Fake news symposium next month

THE planned University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) media symposium on fake news is now scheduled for February 5 and 6.

Dr Loverne Jacobs-Browne, dean of the School of Education and Humanities at USC, told Newsday, “We at the USC recognise that there are several issues in the communication landscape in TT and we believe that it’s critical for universities to lead conversations that are central to public discourse.

“For too long universities have operated as silos. As key agents of change it is imperative to engage the community on issues that impact our nation. Hence, Freedom, Facts and Fake News was birthed, the most glaring being fake news and social media – you name it, all aspects of media, some intentional, some unintentional. But it’s an attempt not to point fingers, but to understand that fake news is here, it’s real, it’s in our face and we need to deal with it.”

The symposium will be held at the Radisson Hotel and will feature an address by Caribbean-born senior BBC presenter Neil Nunes, along with local media practitioners to dissect the pervasive issues of fake news, media communications and the law, understanding the effects of social media on the economy and more. It is targeted to all communication and media specialists and professionals in TT and across the Caribbean.

Among the objectives of the symposium are:

To provide participants with an opportunity to better understand current problems within the media communications field and equip them with tools to address these problems.

To allow practitioners insights into the experience of international media communications and the ways local media landscapes are being impacted and shaped by developments overseas.

To examine the phenomenon of fake news and the means by which media entities can protect themselves from becoming purveyors of misinformation.

To interrogate the role of government(s) in their responsibilities for and oversight of the communications apparatus in their countries, and the tendency to censorship in various forms, that threaten democracy. To emphasise the need for non-partisanship in media coverage, and the need to retain public confidence in the field of media communications.

To explore the development and dependence of media entities on citizen journalists.

To re-establish benchmarks and standards and provide tools for mastering media communications.

To examine legal considerations for media practitioners locally.

To explore the evolution of online technologies, especially social media, to facilitate entrepreneurship and build brands.

To provide a forum for sharing, learning and networking among key stakeholders.

Jacobs-Browne said at the end of the symposium, in addition to the knowledge that participants would have gained, they will receive a certificate of participation.

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