We cannot recall an event in Fresno that featured the range and quality of journalists who came together at Fresno State to explore the many challenges facing the news business. This year’s Roger Tatarian Symposium on Feb. 26 included nationally acclaimed journalists from ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press.

Keynote speaker Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of ProPublica, opened the evening discussing the increasing amount of fake news, and its impact on traditional news organizations. Engelberg said these newsrooms don’t promote fake news, but often are lumped into problem, That, unfortunately, impacts the views that many news consumers have of all media. Here is a Fresno Bee video of an interview with  Engelberg after the symposium.

Engelberg’s speech was followed up by a panel of journalists discussing challenges facing journalism. Tatarian Chair Timothy Drachlis moderated the panel, which was made up of Scott Wilson of the Washington Post, Sewell Chan of the Los Angeles Times and Juliet Williams of the Associated Press. Drachlis pulled together the journalists who participated.

The panel suggested more transparency from media outlets to increase the public’s understanding of the news-gathering process, and ensuring that news consumers are not confused by how newsrooms separate news and opinion content. Too often, it is not easy for the public to determine what is objective news coverage and what is opinion content.

The event was part of the offerings from Fresno State’s Department of Media, Communications and Journalism.  The Institute for Media and Public Trust was one of the symposium’s co-sponsors.

MCJ students participated in the programming. In addition, high school journalists from Fresno Christian’s student newspaper, The Feather, interviewed each panelist and the keynote speaker, making the event a learning experience for upcoming journalists.