On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about what’s happening with the proposed $3.9 billion merger between Sinclair—the largest TV-station owner in the country, which also happens to have an overt tilt in favor of Donald Trump—and Tribune Media. Thanks to an unexpected announcement from the FCC last week, that merger may be doomed.
The hosts are also joined by Claire Wardle, the executive director of First Draft, a nonprofit news-literacy and fact-checking outfit based at Harvard University. Wardle works hands-on with journalists and newsrooms around the world to find and responsibly debunk disinformation. They talk to Wardle about what we should be concerned about as the midterm elections approach, and how false stories spread on social media to confuse readers, disenfranchise voters, or incite violence—even without Russian agents working behind the scenes.
Stories discussed on the show:
- Slate: “Public Shaming Isn’t Enough to Stop Sinclair’s Conservative Local News Empire”
- Slate: “How Conservative Facebook Videos Boosted Trump’s Child Separation Message—Until He Backed Down”
- Washington Post: “On WhatsApp, Fake News Is Fast—and Can Be Fatal”
- New York Times: “Daily News Newsroom Cut in Half by Tronc as Top Editor Is Ousted”
- First Draft
Don’t Close My Tabs
Twitter: Shane Goldmacher
The Atlantic: “Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular”
Podcast production by Max Jacobs.
If Then plugs:
You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.