Religion’s Role in Fake News
Professor Susan B. Ridgely
Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Program
Dec. 8, 2017
Professor Susan B. Ridgely spoke Friday about the connection between Focus on the Family, the Christian conservative organization, and fake news. FOTF created an early closed media network to disseminate Christian centered material to counter mainstream media. As it did, it created frameworks through which its users could discern the truth, particularly the trinitarian stamp of God in which each person has its place. Fake news organizations could take advantage of these frameworks and patterns of news dissemination to make their stories seems more credible. Conversation centered around the ways that worldviews are shaped, and how they affect the way readers perceive truth. Journalists also voiced frustration with the attacks on journalism as a whole, and the issues that fake news and the concept of “fake news” have caused in their field.