Ferndale Library Podcast Focuses on Journalism

Ferndale Library Podcast Focuses on Journalism

(FPL, Sept. 19, 2020)

Ferndale, MI – The Ferndale Library began producing new episodes for its podcast, A Little Too Quiet, in early July, which includes a miniseries on what’s being popularly referred to as “the Infodemic.” Originally intended as an in-person event set up as a panel discussion for a live audience, library staff reconfigured their focus on Information Literacy for the podcast. The series features exclusive conversations with professors, librarians, and journalists that address the public’s ability to evaluate and assess the variety of information and media that we all encounter daily through social media and online news outlets.

Guests include Dr. Pradeep Sopory and Dr. Laura Sheble of Wayne State University: Sopory researches risk communication and has investigated the effects of messages in the media and how they are designed to influence beliefs and behaviors. Sheble has done extensive research on public health reporting and co-edited the book Misinformation and Mass Audiences. Sopory and Sheble have insightful anecdotal research to offer listeners that reflects upon our current moment of health news reporting with the Coronavirus.

Journalists from both broadcast and print media have been interviewed by A Little Too Quiet host Jeff Milo and guest host, Librarian Michelle Williamson. Reporter/producer Jake Neher and digital content editor Shiraz Ahmed of WDET-FM were featured on an episode together and and Detroit News Digital Director Lauren Abdel-Razzaq is scheduled for an upcoming September installment. Finally, Jo Angela Oehrli, the Learning Librarian at the University of Michigan, contributed perspectives on how the librarians of tomorrow are preparing for their role in mitigating the spread of misinformation. Oehrli was recently recognized by the American Library Association for her work on Information Literacy.

The previously-scheduled panel discussions were designed to align with the buildup toward the presidential election and equip attendees with tips on how they could be their own fact-checkers when it came to the inevitable flurry of political news. But now, with these podcast episodes, listeners will be able to dive deeper into how the media is reporting and framing the developing story of the pandemic. Other topics covered in these episodes include confirmation bias and information bubbles: anyone surfing the internet for their news winds up only engaging with and sharing headlines that substantiate their opinions and worldviews. Guests also talk about the more recent phenomenon of “deep fake videos,” altering visuals and audio to make it seem like a person or politician is making statements that they never actually said.

Along with these interviews, listeners will learn illuminating methods for guarding against the spread of misinformation: like how to read laterally (the consultation of reliable third-party sources) and the S.I.F.T. approach, where readers find out how to trace claims and quotes back to a story’s original context. Episodes are available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. More information is provided in the show notes of each episode, posted to the library’s podcast website, here: alittletooquiet.podbean.com

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