Mega-Conference General Session

Real tools for combatting fake news

David Chavern, Travis Quast and Tom Rosenstiel
David Chavern, Travis Quast and Tom Rosenstiel

"Fake news" can impact the world of real news. During the 2018 Mega-Conference, hear how publishers have reacted to instances of "fake news" in their communities, as well as accusations that their real news is "fake."

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28 in San Diego, Calif.

David Chavern, president and chief executive officer of the News Media Alliance, will be joined for this presentation by Travis Quast, publisher of the Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News, and Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of The American Press Institute.

"Publishers are in the real news business," Chavern said, "but that doesn't mean they aren't impacted by the fake stuff."

He said, "There have been a number of unfortunate instances where communities have been torn apart by bad facts, and the local newspaper was called upon to react and pick up the pieces.  In many other cases, publishers are barraged by accusations that their journalism is fake," he said.

Quast has first-hand knowledge of the impact that these situations can cause in a local community. The New York Times Magazine ran an article in September about exaggerated reports of a juvenile sex crime that brought a media maelstrom to Twin Falls, during the height of the 2016 elections. READ MORE

Rosenstiel says: "Battling misinformation and fake news involves having a continuing conversation with readers. To do it well, you need to know what people in your community are saying – what information they are talking about, wondering about and even sharing – that is erroneous and that you can correct for them."

Chavern said the panel will explore how real publishers have reacted to challenges and give attendees tools for coping in the future.

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Learn about TEAM DISCOUNTS for newspapers that bring more than one person to the conference.

Our presenters:

David Chavern is president and CEO of News Media Alliance, the news industry's largest trade organization. Chavern joined the Alliance as president and CEO in October 2015. In addition to developing an entirely new brand and identity for the organization, he has been intensely focused on telling the powerful – and optimistic – story of the news industry and offering members new products that help them run their businesses better every day. He has been called an activist for the news industry by a national media columnist: a title that he embraces proudly.

Chavern has built a career spanning 30 years in executive strategic and operational roles, and most recently completed a decade-long tenure at the United States Chamber of Commerce.  

Travis Quast, a 21-year veteran of the newspaper industry, is currently the publisher of the Twin Falls Times-News located in southern Idaho. He worked for major dailies and small community newspapers throughout the Northwest in the advertising and marketing side of the business before becoming publisher in 2013. He is passionate about the role media plays in shaping local communities through government accountability and transparency and building strong communities through reporting and thoughtful storytelling.

Tom Rosenstiel is executive director of The American Press Institute, and is a widely recognized thinker on the future of media, author, journalist and researcher. He is also senior non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution. Previously, he was founder and for 16 years director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., and co-founder and vice chair of the Committee of Concerned Journalists. He was also press critic for the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC, chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek and a business writer and editor for the Peninsula Times Tribune. His newest book, a work of fiction, is Shining City (Ecco Harper Collins), a political thriller about a Supreme Court nomination fight. He is the author of seven books of non-fiction about journalism and politics.

The Key Executives Mega-Conference is a joint effort of the Inland Press Association, Local Media Association, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, News Media Allliance and the California News Publishers Association.

In its eighth year, Mega-Conference attendance ranges from 700-900 attendees. Most of the attendees are owners, publishers, digital officers or revenue officers of media operations with both print and digital assets, serving their local communities.  A sizable trade show is associated with the conference.

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Learn about TEAM DISCOUNTS for newspapers that bring more than one person to the conference.

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Mega-Conference, Chavern, Quast, Rosenstiel