Category Archives: Opinion

Is No News the Same as Fake News?

In the Trump era, we’re increasingly debating what is ‘real’ news and what is ‘fake news’. I think most sensible people can agree that information that is patently untrue and not verifiable counts as fake news. For example, if a news outlet were to run a story based on Internet rumors that could not be otherwise verified, it could be

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Brexit, Scotland, & Trump: Real Threats to Democracy

At this moment, I shouldn’t be writing about the chaotic politics porn from the last couple of years all wrapped up in the decisions surrounding Scottish independence, Brexit, and Trump’s election  — I should be writing a book chapter on emotion and crisis, but my brain is obsessing about these three things, so I’m exorcising my writing demons. At the

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Good resources for background research

In our crazy information rich world, it’s sometimes hard to evaluate ‘credible’ sources. I think it’s usually worth having a conversation about credible sources — especially when we seem to be increasingly debating ‘whose facts belong to whom’. Those opinions always cause me to cringe because information is value neutral… what we do with it is not. However, in an

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Reconceptualizing Mass Communication as Engagement: The Influence of Social Media

This editorial was first published in the Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism and is re-posted under Creative Commons Attribution License. “For the legions of critics who had previously dismissed platforms like Facebook and Twitter as vapid troughs of celebrity gossip and selfaggrandizement, the toppling of regimes in Tunisia and Egypt suggested that these tools were as effective for organizing protests and

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The need for a better two-way relationship between researchers and practitioners

In 2011, I attended and presented research at an international gathering of 40 to 50 or so of the best researchers in crisis communication in the world. We had researchers from Asia, Europe, and North America attending and presenting their work in Denmark. In addition, the conference organizers worked to make sure this was an educational experience with a graduate

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Top 10 lists are for Letterman, not crisis communication

Enough with “pop” crisis communication already, ok? In the wake of the 2008 financial crash, Hurricane Katrina (US), Japanese tsunami, Haitian earthquake, BP’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico…that is to say our crazy world today it seems like more and more people are hanging their shingle as crisis experts when they just are not. Try googling “crisis communication” sometime

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