Leading media critic Brooke Gladstone will give a lecture, “The Trouble with Reality,” at 7 p.m. Thursday in Wilks Theater as the Humanities Center’s headlining guest for the school year.
Gladstone is expected to speak about fake news and other anti-press rhetoric issues.
Gladstone has been a commentator for publications such as The Boston Globe and The Washington Post and has co-hosted her “On The Media” radio program for 17 years.
Most recently in her career, Gladstone has shifted her focus to the definition of truth. During an NPR interview with correspondent Lulu Garcia Navarro in May 2017, she summed up her concerns with contemporary journalism, a landscape with social media, op-ed and bipartisan narratives.
“I know that facts are real. I don’t think that they’re relative,” Gladstone said. “But truth, that is to say the world that we make out of those facts, that’s a terribly subjective thing.”
She has burst onto the page in her own books, “The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination of Moral Panic in Our Time,” released in 2017, and 2011 graphic novel “The Influencing Machine,” addressing how media has influenced and continues to influence Americans’ perceptions of reality.
Gladstone’s body of work is suitable for dialogue Miami’s Humanities Center would like to see on campus, said center director Tim Melley.
“[It] examines some of the free speech and media issues of great importance to western societies now,” said Melley.
Before Gladstone’s Thursday evening lecture, a panel of student journalists will facilitate a question-and-answer session about media literacy and misinformation at 3 p.m. in Shideler 152. Journalism professor Rosemary Pennington will introduce the event, and audience members will also have an opportunity to ask Gladstone questions.
Pennington framed Gladstone’s visit as an opportunity to make sense of the “sea of information” people encounter when seeking out news.
“Learning how to critically engage with that onslaught, how to manage it and how to judge what’s trustworthy and what’s not is crucial if we’re to make sense of any of it,” Pennington said. “Gladstone and ‘On The Media’ try to help us do that.”
Gladstone’s Thursday evening lecture will center around her newest publication, “The Trouble with Reality.”
The Humanities Center hosts guests like Gladstone annually, focusing on the humanities’ impact on higher education and democracy.
Hosting the award-winning journalist was a “perfect” way to kickoff the Humanities Center’s upcoming ten-speaker 2018-19 “Truth and Lies” series, said Melley.
Next year’s Altman Program was built upon the need to use humanities to analyze the relationship between truth and democracy, through historical and analytical lenses, Melley said. It will be facilitated by distinguished lecturers, panels, classes and research programs.