In this one-hour interactive panel discussion, four research, media, and data experts at the University of Rochester will discuss how to make sense of and evaluate sources in our complex and contentious media and information ecosystem. Topics include science, trust ,and expertise; filter bubbles and motivated reasoning; understanding data visualizations; and tools and tips for identifying misinformation.

Since the outbreak began, news about Covid-19 has been subject to political manipulation and misinformation, and it continues to spread today. Making matters more complex, we all inevitably bring our own implicit biases or “motivated reasoning” in determining what news and information to believe and what to discount as propaganda from “the other side.”  This is particularly true on our social media platforms. But it is still possible--urgent, actually--to know how to identify, assess, and understand what counts as credible evidence, information, and reporting on the virus, since the difference between believing accurate information vs. believing bad information can literally be a matter of life and death.

The viewing audience will have an opportunity to share their own experiences and observations making this a highly interactive event.


  • Stephanie Barrett, social science librarian with a specialty in public health information
  • Robert Berkman, business librarian; editor, The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research
  • Sarah Pugachev, director of Carlson Science & Engineering Libraries and Research Initiatives
  • Kristana Textor, instructor of Digital Media Studies

Event Details

  • Jacob Rose
  • Joette Vahey

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