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In an environment where misinformation, partisanship, and deep fakes abound, the role of the journalist has shifted from observer/reporter to advocacy and truth-telling. This panel discussion will explore why and where these lines are drawn – and what the future will look like.
Join Aaron Kwittken (he/him), Founder and CEO of PRophet. and his panel featuring:
- John Avlon, Senior Political Analyst @ CNN
- Sara Fischer, Media Reporter @ Axios
- Brian J. Karem, Sr. WH Reporter @Playboy, Author, Free the Press: The Death of American Journalism and How to Revive It
- David Kirkpatrick, Founder and Editor-in-Chief @ Techonomy Media
Discussion questions include:
- What, exactly, is the role of media when it comes to battling disinformation? Is this their responsibility, and/or to what extent?
- The role of the journalist, traditionally, is observer and storyteller. Now, advocacy is part of their work. Where is the line between advocacy and reporting – and how do you expect it to continue to change?
- How do newsrooms change fact checking and reporting processes in an environment in which deep fakes abound?
- What is the role of technology in countering disinformation/uncovering deep fakes?
- How has reporting changed with a new presidential administration?
Aaron Kwittken (he/his/him)
Founder & CEO, PRophet
Aaron Kwittken is founder and CEO of PRophet, an AI-driven PR SaaS platform backed by MDC Ventures. He is also founder and chairman of KWT Global, a highly acclaimed PR and brand strategy firm with offices in New York, London and Los Angeles. A proud George Washington University alum, Aaron serves on GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs advisory committee. He’s president-elect of PRSA-New York and past president of the Americas for the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO); a former Board member of the PR Council; a former adjunct professor at NYU; writes for Forbes and The Drum; and is the creator and host of the popular Brand on Purpose podcast that features companies that do well by doing good. He has deep expertise in marketing technology, brand strategy, reputation management, crisis management and purpose-driven marketing. An endurance sports enthusiast, Aaron puts social impact at the center of everything he does personally and professionally.
Follow Aaron on Twitter: @AKwittken
Follow PRophet on Twitter: @PRophet_PR
Senior Political Analyst, CNN
John Avlon is senior political analyst and fill-in anchor at CNN, appearing on New Day every morning. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, and Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists anthologies of America’s greatest newspaper columns. In his twenties, Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon’s essay on the attacks, “The Resilient City” concluded the anthology Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as “the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.” He’s appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher and The Daily Show. He won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online columnist 2012. He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover, host of Firing Line on PBS and a CNN contributor, and their two children in New York.
Follow John on Twitter: @JohnAvlon
Media Columnist, Axios
Sara Fischer is a media reporter for Axios. She joined the company in 2016 as a founding staff member. Fischer is considered one of the top reporters on her beat. Revue cited her weekly newsletter, Axios Media Trends, as the second-most popular media newsletter in the market and deemed it a “must-read” by media industry leaders. She was also recently named to Forbes “30 Under 30” Media list and to the 2019 Folio 100 in their “Creator” category. Beyond her weekly newsletter, Fischer oversees Axios‘ media coverage for the newsroom, and steers the company’s products and events around that topic. Her coverage spans corporate media, technology, social media, deals, entertainment, media regulation, policy and consumer habits.
Follow Sara on Twitter: @SaraFischer
Brian J. Karem
Sr. WH Reporter @Playboy, Author, Free the Press: The Death of American Journalism and How to Revive It
Brian J. Karem is an award-winning journalist, author, speaker and recognized defender of the First Amendment. Karem currently serves as the senior White House correspondent for Playboy. He is also the host of Just Ask the Question, a podcast featuring conversations with informed individuals about politics, current events and pop culture. He is also a frequent guest on CNN and other networks.
Karem has worked in both newspaper and television as an investigative journalist covering politics, crime, refugee issues, and state and local news. His work experience includes America’s Most Wanted (producer and correspondent); People magazine; Fox News; NBC News; and the Courier-Journal, among others.
Karem has received multiple awards for his work, including the prestigious Pieringer Award and the Freedom of the Press Award, and was recently nominated as “Journalist of the Year” by the Los Angeles Press Club.
Throughout his career, Karem has been a champion of free speech and vocal advocate for freedom of the press. He has testified in support of a federal shield law numerous times before state legislatures and is the founder of the “First Jailbird’s Club,” a group of 13 reporters who went to jail to defend a confidential source and who have toured the nation to rally for a federal shield law.
Most recently, Karem successfully filed a lawsuit against the Trump White House for suspending his credentials for a month, citing First Amendment and Fifth Amendment violations. The suit named President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham as defendants. He won the suit and has also successfully defended against two appeals.
Karem is a member of the White House Press Corps Association and the National Press Club and serves as immediate past president of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C Press Association.
Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKarem
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy Media
David Kirkpatrick is a journalist, the founder and editor-in-chief of Techonomy Media, and author of the best-selling book “The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World.” Techonomy’s conferences gather leaders to discuss how tech changes everything and to help build a better society. In these Covid times, along with frequent virtual roundtables, it hosts regular virtual events. Most recently Digitally United in mid-March, about the many ways tech can bring us together and remedies for how it has fractured us. In April Techonomy joins with Worth Magazine to host The Health+Wealth of America, about how our country can maintain progress emerging from the pandemic and economic crises. Techonomy normally hosts two major annual physical events—in New York in May and a fall retreat in California. Speakers at its in-person conferences have included Marc Benioff, Sen. Cory Booker, Steve Case, John Chambers, Jack Dorsey, Esther Dyson, Katherine Maher, Marissa Mayer, Tim O’Reilly, Sean Parker, Penny Pritzker, Peter Thiel, Jeff Weiner, and Mark Zuckerberg. Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect is in 32 languages. He spent 25 years at Fortune Magazine, and is a contributing editor at Bloomberg Television and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Follow David on Twitter: @DavidKirkpatric