ACRL DVC Fall Program: Fact, False, or Just Flawed: Critically Examining the News in the Age of Truthiness

Has the news kept you up at night this year? Join us to learn more about the current news environment and teaching news literacy at the ACRL DVC Fall program: Fact, False, or Just Flawed: Critically Examining the News in the Age of Truthiness

Date: Friday, November 17
Location: University of Pennsylvania Law School
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Registration – closed

The current political climate has called into question basic ideals of information quality. Objectivity, bias, opinion, fact, and evidence are thrown into question at every turn. The old standbys for teaching source evaluation now seem insufficient. So how do we teach our students to be smart and ethical information consumers and producers? We will hear from media scholars and journalists about professional practices and principles and the impact of technology and other forces that shape the news. We will also hear from librarians who are using innovative methods for teaching students to critically examine sources of information.

The program will consist of a keynote presentation, panel discussion, lighting talks, and end with a Chapter meeting.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Award-winning author and journalist, Dr. Pamela Newkirk, is a professor at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Her books include Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media; Letters from Black America; and her 2015 book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, (HarperCollins). Newkirk will present her research on race and the news and discuss current trends and issues in the field of journalism.

Panel Discussion

  • Tom Ipri is the Associate Director for Public Services & Programming at St. Joseph’s University (Moderator).
  • Mark Dent is a reporter for Billy Penn and Politifact: Pennsylvania Edition
  • Sarah Hartman-Caverly is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Delaware County Community College.
  • Vanessa Schipani works for Annenberg Public Policy Center and is a Science Writer for
  • John L Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Media & Communication at Muhlenberg College

Lightning Talks

Practitioners will share examples of their work on a project, a technique used, a resource created, or other strategies that relate to news literacy. The list of presenters is available here.

Program Learning Objectives

After the program, participants will be able to…

  • Describe journalistic principles and professional practices in order to identify elements of stories that are shaped by the process
  • Summarize the information-seeking habits of news consumers, particularly young adults, in order to help them develop strategies for evaluating the content they engage with regularly
  • Identify resources and apply methods for evaluating the credibility and objectivity of information in order to promote critical thinking and ethical use of information

This workshop is made possible in part by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Department of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor , through the College and Research Division ( of PaLA. Show your appreciation by becoming a member of PaLA! And if you are a member – thank you!


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