The Case for Slow Journalism: When to Unplug from the Endless News Cycle

Often when I see people in my social media feed criticizing “the media,” they are unfairly blaming journalists for how the social media ecosystem misuses journalism. Here’s an example from a post by someone arguing that CNN is being unfairly biased against Bernie Sanders. The complaint is that CNN criticizes Sanders for making a claim that a different CNN story seems to support. If you already believe that CNN is…

The first ever photograph of light as both a particle and wave

There’s so much I don’t know! When teaching rhetoric, I often use “Is light a wave, or is it a particle?” as an example of a false dichotomy. My high school physics teacher (Rear Admiral Edward Metcalfe Peebles) set up a lecture giving us the “pro-wave” evidence and the “pro-particle” evidence and inviting us to take sides, then sprung the “wavicle” at us (a thing that sometimes acts like a…

Students in a Finnish community college learn how to spot "fake news".

Finland is Winning the War on Fake News

This is story is from May, but it’s very relevant. Standing in front of the classroom at Espoo Adult Education Centre, Jussi Toivanen worked his way through his PowerPoint presentation. A slide titled “Have you been hit by the Russian troll army?” included a checklist of methods used to deceive readers on social media: image and video manipulations, half-truths, intimidation and false profiles. Another slide, featuring a diagram of a…

Brooke Kile (professional headshot)

Branding Essentials for the English Major: 4 Examples of How to Re-package Your Skills for Employers

It seems every week some “expert” publishes an article lamenting on the fact that if college students want to ensure they can get a good job after graduation, they should steer clear of “worthless” majors. Go into business or technology, say the authors. Stay away from things like English literature or creative writing. This argument comes from the erroneous assumption that a college education is best spent developing a repertoire…