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01/22/2018

Winthrop Part of Partnership on a Future of Journalism Initiative

Quick Facts

 Events begin in September with Winthrop’s annual Constitution Day observation, which will focus on the First Amendment.
 There will also be four public humanities lectures or moderated forums utilizing scholars and professional journalists examining discerning fake news from real news, the role of opinion writers, and why investigative reporting matters.

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Karen Kedrowski
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Guy Reel
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The S.C. Humanities has been awarded a $35,000 grant to support its 2018-19 “News Literacy and the Future of Journalism” initiative, a seven-month series presented in partnership with Winthrop University and the S.C. Press Association.

Events begin in September with Winthrop’s annual Constitution Day observation, which will focus on the First Amendment. The interdisciplinary examination will include:
 
· Four public humanities lectures or moderated forums utilizing scholars and professional journalists examining specific subject areas. Topics are: Discerning fake news from real news; the role of opinion writers; and why investigative reporting matters;
· Development of a Media and Politics class at Winthrop;
· At least four additional learning opportunities for students, including internships and volunteer involvement;
· A portion of S.C. Humanities’ re-grant funds will be set aside to support programming that relates to the theme; and
· The series will conclude with another public “headline” event in March 2019 at the S.C. Press Association annual meeting in Columbia.

Political Science Professor Karen Kedrowski, who is executive director for the Center for Civic Learning, said the series builds on Winthrop’s long-standing commitment to civic education. “There is growing evidence that many Americans have difficulty discerning factual reporting from fictional works posing as news,” Kedrowski said. “We hope this series will engage the entire Winthrop community in conversations about critical thinking, the role of journalism and the responsibilities of informed citizenship.”

This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” Initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism and an informed citizenry.

Guy Reel, chair of the Department of Mass Communication, said the initiative is an important opportunity for Winthrop to participate in, and help lead, discussions on news literacy, which is vital for our democracy. “We look forward to engaging the community in these discussions and also to offer a course to our students on Media and Politics this coming fall,” Reel said.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation also has provided generous support for this initiative.

The S.C. Humanities is a statewide non-profit that reaches more than 250,000 citizens annually in both urban and rural settings with its support of exhibits, festivals, book discussions, literary initiatives, films, lectures and more. It is not a government agency and receives no support from the state of South Carolina. Its mission is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians.

For more information, contact Judy B. Bynum, Judy@schumanities.org; Karen Kedrowski, kedrowskik@winthrop.edu; or Guy Reel, reelg@winthrop.edu.

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