Saturday, January 8, 2011

Restoring trust in the news media

University of Missouri Extension and the Society of Professional Journalists are hosting an online discussion on how to restore the public’s trust in the news media.

The materials being used for the online discussion and survey are provided by the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forum.

A discussion guide entitled “News Media and Society: How to Restore the Public Trust?” can be found by searching for the title at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene or more directly at the “public issues section” under the “community development” link.

Participants are asked to read the free advance material and then take the online survey found on the same page or at this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZXJZPP7.

A video of introduction can also be found at http://www.youtube.com/MUExtension417.

In the coming months, details on what others think on this topic will be shared.

“Good journalism is vitally important for a strong democracy, but studies and surveys show that Americans increasingly do not trust the news media,” said David Burton, civic communication specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

According to Burton, the issue book on this topic suggests three approaches to repairing the relationship between the news media and the American people.

“Each approach offers different perspectives on what has damaged citizens’ trust. Each presents various ways to address those problems,” said Burton.

These online resources are being made available by University of Missouri Extension and the Southwest Missouri PRO Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The local chapter received a competitive national grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation to host “Public and the Press” programs.

For information on bringing this program to your community or school, contact the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909 or e-mail David Burton at burtond@missouri.edu.

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