The wide dissemination of unreliable and even misleading information contributes to a climate of mistrust towards the media and promotes civic apathy. It is part of a context of accelerated media transformation and raises questions about the ability of diverse audiences to critically analyze journalistic work and information.

The context within which the discussion of fake news takes place is unique. Traditional media are facing a major economic and political crisis. Public confidence in journalists has reached historically low levels, as the business models on which journalistic production is based collapse and policy makers fuel suspicion of "flagship" journalism institutions. This crisis unfolds as the spectrum of knowledge and skills needed for the critical evaluation of journalistic information expands and becomes considerably more complex. Such assessment now requires audiences to have research and information analysis skills, to master the basics of the political economy of information production and circulation within complex digital environments, to understand the workings of information distribution platforms, and to have some knowledge of journalistic standards and genres. The proliferation of fake news is therefore part of a crisis context in which we rediscover and reconsider the question of the skills needed for the critical analysis of journalistic work and information.

The Ending fake news event will incorporate these considerations and offer concrete recommendations for strengthening public policy and media education practices. It will bring together educators, journalists, policy makers, academics, activists, members of the public and experts during two days of activities.

These two days will aim to produce discussions that will go beyond the question of fake news to examine practices, policies, programs and tools developed in Quebec, Canada and the world in media education.

Organized activities will include an opening conference and two plenary sessions. Concurrent workshops will be conducted by facilitators to address the questions guiding this event and to provide concrete recommendations for media education. All presentations and discussions will be translated simultaneously into French and English.

Organizing Committee

  • Normand Landry

    Normand Landry

    Normand Landry is a professor at Université TÉLUQ (Université du Québec) and researcher at the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la communication, l'information et la société (CRICIS). He also holds the Canada Research Chair in Media Education and Human Rights. His work focuses on media education, communication rights, legal intimidation, as well as communication and social movements. His research has led him to participate in international summits organized by the United Nations, intervene with parliamentary groups and engage with civil society organizations. Normand Landry has written several books, including Droits et enjeux de la communication (PUQ, 2013) and Threatening democracy: SLAPPs and the Judicial Repression of Political Discourse (Fernwood, 2014). He is also publication director (with Anne-Sophie Letellier) of L'éducation aux médias à l'ère numérique: Entre fondations et renouvellement (PUM, 2016).

  • Gretchen King

    Gretchen King

    Gretchen King is an award-winning community news and public affairs programmer. She completed her PhD in Communication Studies at McGill University (2015) based on research she facilitated at Jordan’s first community radio station, Radio al-Balad 92.4 FM in Amman. Previously News Coordinator at CKUT 90.3 FM for ten years (2001-2011), Gretchen was a post-doctoral research fellow from 2016-2018 at the University of Ottawa where she is facilitated several projects related to community radio newsrooms and communication policy processes. This year, Gretchen began a post-doctoral research fellowship with the Canada Research Chair in Media Education and Human Rights at Université TÉLUQ in Montreal. Her work focuses on non-profit, Indigenous, and community media research, policy, teaching, and practice; journalism studies; critical audience studies; alternative media and community radio in the regions of North America, North Africa, and West Asia. She has helped to co-found numerous multimedia initiatives, such as the Independent Media Centre or IndyMedia.org, and community radio programs, including Aboriginal Day Celebrations, the Homelessness Radio Marathon, Radio Free Palestine, and GroundWire Community Radio News.

  • Colette Brin

    Colette Brin

    Colette Brin is a Professor at Université Laval's Département d'information et de communication and the Director of the Centre d'études sur les médias. Her research and teaching focus on recent and ongoing changes in journalistic practice, through policy and organizational initiatives, as well as journalists' professional discourse. She recently co-edited Journalism in Crisis: Bridging Theory and Practice for Democratic Media Strategies in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2016). Prof. Brin coordinates the Canadian study for the Digital News Report (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism) and served on the advisory panel for the Public Policy Forum's report on the media, The Shattered Mirror, published in January 2017. She is a member of the Groupe de recherche sur la communication politique (GRCP) and of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC).

  • Thierry Giasson

    Thierry Giasson

    Thierry Giasson is professor at the Department of Political Science at Université Laval and lead researcher of the Groupe de recherche en communication politique (GRCP) since 2007. He is a member of the Chaire sur la démocratie et les institutions parlementaires (CDIP), the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) and the Institute for Information Technologies and Societies (IITS). He is the Canadian co-director of the enpolitique.com project, a French and Quebecois team working on digital electoral campaigns. He also participates in the Online Citizenship team, headed by Harold Jansen (University of Lethbridge), which analyzes online political activity and democratic citizenship in Canada. He is also a former president of the Société québécoise de science politique (2015-2017). His recent work has dealt with digital partisan, government and citizen communication strategies, political and electoral marketing, as well as the media framing of social crises. Together with Alex Marland (Memorial University of Newfoundland), he edits the Communication, Strategy and Politics Series at UBC Press.