The scope and breadth of new forms of communication, particularly social media, have created seismic shifts in the way individuals, groups, governments, businesses, and nations communicate, which influences thinking and behavior on a massive scale. It has penetrated world culture far more than perhaps we realize.
On Thursday (March 1) from 2:30-4:30 pm, The Arizona Senior Academy will host “Media and Foreign Policy,” the fourth of the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions 2018” series in the ASA Great Room.
This broad topic will focus on numerous aspects of the rapidly changing platforms and functions of media across formerly more orderly boundaries, with regulations and journalistic norms.
There are now more owners of mobile devices than toothbrushes. Social media users have grown from 1 million in 2010 to 2.4 billion+ today. While the positive effects are obvious (e.g., we have seen social media improve disaster response), we have also seen it weaponized to influence what are intended to be free and fair elections representing the will of the people.
Further, we have seen attacks on the First Amendment unprecedented in recent American history, growth of blatant propaganda, and de-legitimization of the mainstream press. Our 45th president has changed the way world leaders communicate. Using a platform such as Twitter for world-influencing statements of foreign policy have turned the usual decorum of such communication on its head.
We have entered a new era of media, and it is having a profound influence on the way communication occurs and cultures interact. Discussion will include: For better or for worse, how is this challenge affecting us? How can we combat the threat of “fake news” and protect fact-based reporting?
For further information on “Great Decisions 2018” visit the Foreign Policy Association website at http://www.fpa.org/great_decisions/ .
Written by Laurie Sherman, Academy Village Volunteer