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'Fake News' and the Future of Democracy Day 3

Sponsored by the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL)

A Community Conference via Zoom

 Saturday Morning, May 15, 2021

Eight Separate Discussion Groups, as listed below

9:30 - 10:45 AM Period I  (Groups 1, 2, 3, 4)

 Group Facilitator
 1. Misinformation, Disinformation, and Fact-checking Brooks DeCillia
 2. Spotting Fake News Kim Groome/James Murphy
 3. How do You Know if What You See in the Media is True? Jackie Flanagan
 4. The News and the Community Gillian Steward

11:00 - 12:15 PM Period II (Groups 5, 6, 7, 8)

 Group Facilitator
 5. What is the Public Sphere?  Maria Bakardjieva
      Protecting a Necessary Condition for Democracy 
 6. Democracy and Truth Decay: Can They Co-Exist? Doreen Barrie
 7. Truth and Fiction in This Pandemic David Swann
 8. Continuing the Dialogue: A CALL Fake News Interest Group? Adrienne Kertzer

Note: Program is subject to change.


MC: Dr. Adrienne Kertzer is Professor Emerita, Department of English, University of Calgary. The author of My Mother's Voice: Children, Literature, and the Holocaust for which she received the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Scholarship, she is also a recipient of The Order of the University of Calgary. Since retiring, she has continued her passion for learning, teaching, and service, first as a volunteer with the Calgary Public Library and now as Coordinator, Current Issues, Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Maria Bakardjieva is Professor and Chair in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Calgary. She is the author of Internet Society: The Internet in Everyday Life (2005, Sage) and co-editor of three collections, most recently, Socialbots and Their Friends: Digital Media and the Automation of Sociality (Routledge, 2017) with Robert Gehl. Her research focuses on digital media use in various social contexts. Between 2010 and 2013, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Her current projects investigate the role digital media play in citizen engagement and democratic participation.

PANEL MODERATOR: Dr. Doreen Barrie is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Calgary. She has written on Canadian and Alberta politics, health care, federalism and environmental protection. She is currently researching issues on water, particularly water markets.


Dr. Brooks DeCillia spent more than twenty years reporting and producing news at CBC. These days, he splits his time between researching public opinion at the University of Calgary and teaching communication and journalism at Mount Royal University. His research focuses on the nexus of journalism and political communication.

Jackie Flanagan taught at Mount Royal College (now University) for many years, and is the founder of Alberta Views magazine, where she continues to work daily. She is a recent recipient of the Order of Canada.

Kim Groome has been helping students and scholars hunt down quality information through mastery of technology for almost a decade. An information specialist at the University of Calgary—Libraries and Cultural Resources, Kim assists with information literacy workshops. For pleasure, Kim loves to learn languages, study deception detection, and care for huge house plants!

James Murphy is a Student Learning and Engagement Librarian at the University of Calgary, liaison to the Department of Art and School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. He also designs, implements and coordinates a range of library educational, outreach and engagement programming for students based at the Taylor Family Digital Library. This includes teaching students how to become more critical of information quality to better incorporate authoritative sources in their own work and practicing strategies for spotting misinformation.

Dr. Gillian Steward is a Calgary-based author and journalist. She currently writes a regular column for the Toronto Star and teaches journalism at Mount Royal University. She was the managing editor at the Calgary Herald from 1987 to 1990 and was the publisher/editor of Alberta Views magazine in 2006/07.

Dr. David Swann is husband to Laureen, a retired family physician, with 3 children and 14 grandchildren. He was in Public Health practice for 25 years before entering politics as Liberal MLA for Calgary Mountain View.

Conference Organizing Committee: Tamara Seiler, Chair; Doreen Barrie, Mary Lou Kerr, Adrienne Kertzer, Lee Tunstall

Selection of small group discussions opens May 8. Participants will be limited to registering in ONLY one group discussion.

Conference Organizing Committee: Tamara Seiler, Chair; Doreen Barrie, Mary Lou Kerr, Adrienne Kertzer, Lee Tunstall

For general inquiries email: info

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