Preview | The Plank Center confronts the crisis of misinformation


Emma Zimmerman, Contributing Writer

The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations will host a virtual event on Thursday, April 15 at 2 p.m. to discuss the topic of spreading misinformation among the public. 

This event will be hosted here on Facebook and is free for anyone who wants to attend. Facebook users can RSVP here, but the event is open to everyone. 

The Plank Center is a UA program that aims to help develop and polish leaders in the public relations field by instilling the value of ethical professional practices, supporting PR-based research and collaborating with other campus groups that share similar values.

The event will be moderated by Mark Harris, a Plank Center Board member and former UA professor. Other featured speakers include Elisa Shearer, a Plank Center research associate, and Alan Miller, CEO of the News Literacy Project and former reporter for The Los Angeles Times. 

According to the Plank Center’s Facebook event page, “the discussion covers data and insights from Pew Research, guidance on healthy information habits, and examines the role and responsibility of communications professionals in restoring people’s ability to trust what we see and hear.” 

The Plank Center believes that recognizing misinformation is more important now than ever. With these three experts in the field of journalism, the Plank Center hopes to dive deeper into what the spread of misinformation looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. 

Using their past experiences and current expertise in the fields of journalism and public relations, Harris, Shearer and Miller hope to restore a level of trust in journalists among the public by giving them resources to find the trustworthy information they are looking for and mindful habits to use when deciding where to get their news from.