Photo: Courtesy of Religion Communication Congress
Dr. Clifford Christians, one of the world’s leading scholars on ethics in media, will tackle “Fake News, Rights and Obligations in a Digital World” at the Religion Communication Congress (RCC), March 17-21, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
Christians, a research professor of communications emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will explore the origins of disinformation and the rise of “fake news” in digital media.
Congress participants “can expect to participate in an engaging discussion about the ways in which today’s digital platforms are being manipulated, by whom and for what purposes,” said the RCC in a news release. “Dr. Christians’ ethical reflections and responses will speak to both the advantages and limitations that accompany every new technological innovation.”
Dr. Christians has authored and co-authored many books and articles, including Media Ethics and Global Justice in the Digital Age, published in March 2019. He is a founding member of the Global Media Ethics Project, a series of roundtable discussions with journalists and scholars on media, globalization and ethics. He has also written for WACC’s quarterly journal, Media Development.
The RCC, a decennial gathering of multi-faith religion communicators, will also hear from workshop panelists and leaders, including WACC General Secretary Philip Lee, WACC North America President Dr. Glory Dharmaraj, WACC North America board member Gregg Brekke, and WACC UN Liaison Dr. Karri Whipple.
Lee will discuss “Changing the Narrative: Media Representation of Refugees and Migrants.” He will present case studies from Europe and Latin America, showing how balanced and ethical news coverage can change policies and perspectives on refugees and migrants.
Whipple and Dharmaraj, who is also the Global Media Monitoring Project coordinator for North America, will lead the workshop on “Gender and Race in Media Portrayals and Faith-Based Actions in the Public Square,” along with the Rev. Eric Shafer of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica.
Brekke will lead the workshop on “Backpack Journalism: Multi-Platform Story Creation.”
The theme for the 2020 RCC is Communicating Faith in the Public Square.
RCC organizers note that the congress “comes at a critical time in communication history when new technologies are quickly outpacing existing laws and practices that regulate media production and other forms of public communications.