News Literacy and the Future of Journalism

The “News Literacy and Future of Journalism” series is a seven-month collaborative effort among SC Humanities, Winthrop University, and the SC Press Association. Additional support comes from the North Carolina Humanities Council, The Newseum in Washington, D.C., The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, the Departments of Mass Communication and Political Science, and the College of Arts & Sciences at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.

“News Literacy and the Future of Journalism” is part of the national initiative on “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Mellon Foundation. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

As of May 8, 2018, the series will include 11 events. All will be free, open to the public, publicized aggressively, and available for view on the Newseum website. Unless otherwise noted, they will be held on the Winthrop campus. They are:

  • Monday, September 17, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiogio Campus Center. “Fake News and the Threat to Democracy.” Mr. Jeff Ballou, past president of the National Press Club and News Editor for Al Jazeera (English) Media Network will provide the opening keynote address. This event will be supported in part by the North Carolina Humanities Council (NCHC).
  • Tuesday, September 18, 2018. 11 a.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “Constitution Day Observance: Free Speech and the Responsibilities of Citizenship” by Dr. Michael Lipscomb. Dr. Lipscomb is a Professor of Political Science and Chair of Faculty Conference, Winthrop University. He specializes in Political Theory and teaches courses in American Government and Political Theory, including American Political Thought.
  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018. 11 a.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “News Engagement Day Observation: Discerning the Truth: Fake News vs the Real Thing.” A panel of experts will discuss the importance of critically examining information and equip students with tools to look beyond the headline or “click bait” to determine the veracity of articles posing as news. Recent surveys show that young adults have the greatest difficulty determining legitimate news from fiction disguised as news. The panelists are:
    • Amanda Hiner, Associate Professor of English and Director of Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing (CRTW 201) course at Winthrop University;
    • Bill Schulte, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Winthrop University; and
    • Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
  • Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center: Public Lecture entitled “Is That All You Do? The Art of Editorial Cartooning” by:
    • Dwane Powell, retired political cartoonist from the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and;
    • Robert Ariail, current political cartoonist for the State and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018. 7:00 p.m. Richardson Ballroom, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “Do Opinion Writers Matter Any More?” This panel of distinguished guests will discuss the role of opinion writers in today’s partisan and ideological media environment. The panelists are:
    • James Hoagland, The Washington Post and winner of the Pulitzer Prize;
    • Maria Henson, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and
    • Vilissa Thompson, Disability Rights advocate and author of Ramp Up Your Voice, a nationally-recognized blog that focuses on issues of concern to persons with disabilities and especially persons of color with disabilities.
  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018. 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center. Public lecture entitled “Finding the Truth Among Competing Claims: Politifact’s Role in American Politics.” This lecture will be presented by Ms. Angie Holan, Editor of Politifact, Pulitzer Prize winning independent fact-checking organization.
  • January 2019 (Date TBA): Showing of Spotlight, The Post, or similar film or documentary followed by a discussion led by a faculty expert. (Pending)
  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019. 7:00 p.m. Richardson Ballroom, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “Why Investigative Reporting Does Matter.” These journalists will discuss the role of investigative reporting in American Democracy and the challenges it faces in an era of citizen journalism, social media, and declining audiences for newspapers and television news.   Panelists include:
    • Anna Douglas, The Charlotte Observer (confirmed);
    • Jennifer Hawes, Charleston (SC) Post & Courier and winner of the Pulitzer Prize (confirmed); and
    • Bill Fox, President of Protecting Public Access to Public Records (PAPR) (Confirmed)
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019. 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place. DiGiorgio Campus Center. “The State of the Fourth Estate: An Evening with David Fahrenthold.” Mr. Fahrenthold is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from Washington Post. He is known for his coverage of the Trump family business empire.
  • On or about March 16, 2019 : Address at the SC Press Association meeting in Columbia, SC. Eugene Robinson, Washington Post (Pulitzer Prize winner) (Possible invitee). This event will focus on the overall theme of the series.
  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Location Pending: Closing campus plenary, a panel entitled “the Future of Journalism.” Panelists include:
    • Kelly Kaufhold, professor at Texas Tech University (confirmed),
    • Gene Policinski, the Newseum (confirmed),
    • Graham Osteen II of Sumter Item (confirmed).


For more information, contact Judy B. Bynum,; Karen Kedrowski,; or Guy Reel, Stay tuned for additional programming details.