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Is that a fact? – A media roundtable

Is that a fact? —Updated

Join us for a FREE roundtable discussion featuring Fox 13 NewsBEN WINSLOW, KUER 90.1‘s ANDREW BECKER and The Salt Lake Tribune’s BETHANY RODGERS, discussing what constitutes facts in the news today and how it informs their work. The roundtable will occur directly after the first Saturday matinee performance of The Lifespan of a Fact. The Facebook Event is here.

The panel will be moderated by PAISLEY REKDAL, University of Utah faculty member in the Department of English and is Utah’s Poet Laureate, a Governor-appointed position to advocate for literature and the arts. UPDATE: ELAINE CLARK, originally scheduled moderator, unfortunately had to withdraw due to a family emergency. We are grateful to Professor Rekdal for stepping in.

The experts we’ve invited will discuss their experiences in the era of “fake news,” following the upcoming opening night of their regional premiere of the recent Broadway play, The Lifespan of a Fact. A recent Broadway hit, “Lifespan” features a demanding editor who has given an eager young fact checker a big assignment: apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by an unorthodox author on a sensitive subject. The resulting conflict between fact-checker and author casts a comic light on the intersection between truth and art. Our production, one of the first in the country, runs from November 1 to November 16.

We invite patrons to attend the play and stay for the roundtable!

The panel will explore the media’s role in telling the truth – whatever that may be – and discuss the need to rely on noted sources to learn and understand our world.  The panel will take place on NOVEMBER 2, 2019 immediately after the Saturday matinee performance of the play. A hit on Broadway, The Lifespan of a Fact is about a young fact-checker, his demanding editor, and the unorthodox author of a ground-breaking piece of journalism that is under extreme scrutiny.

The roundtable event will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m., and is free for the public to attend.

“While this play takes a searing look at how we get our news, we knew ‘Lifespan’ and its subject matter would be of great interest to our patrons,” said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. “The conversation usually continues after the final curtain, so why not provide a forum for that discussion? We’re grateful to the experts who agreed to walk us through some of these issues they experience in real life.”

BEN WINSLOW is a multi-platform journalist for KSTU-FOX13 news, breaking news on a number of platforms. He has covered a wide variety of topics from politics to polygamy, liquor laws and alcohol policy. Winslow has won numerous awards for his work, including a national Edward R. Murrow award, the Religion Newswriters Association’s local TV news report of the year, numerous Utah Broadcaster’s Association awards, and local awards by the Society of Professional Journalists. He has also been recognized by Salt Lake City Weekly and QSalt Lake as the best TV reporter in Utah.

ANDREW BECKER joined KUER in 2018, initially as host and producer of an investigative podcast before becoming news director. He has spent more than a decade covering border, homeland, and national security issues, most recently for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting in the San Francisco Bay area. His reporting has appeared in the Washington Post, LA Times and PBS/Frontline, and been cited in U.S. Supreme and District Courts.

BETHANY RODGERS has been the government reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune since 2018, covering state and city government issues. Her timely stories cover issues affecting public policy, such as state budget, local governments, public health, and is the lead reporter covering Utah’s initiatives on medical cannabis.

Utah’s Poet Laureate since 2017, PAISLEY REKDAL, is a professor at the University of Utah in the Department of English. Like the writer in the play, she is the author of several books of essays, several other collections of poetry, and creative non-fiction. Her work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes (2009, 2013), Narrative’s Poetry Prize, the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards.

No RSVP is necessary, but visit our Facebook page, and share this event with your friends!

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