UWinnipeg Prof tackles fake news


Dr. Jason Hannan represents Canada at Global Media Forum in Germany

Jason Hannon in Germany - photo supplied

Jason Hannan in Germany – photo supplied

What happens if we stop valuing the truth?  What are the consequences? That is a topic that UWinnipeg’s Dr. Jason Hannan (Rhetoric, Writing and Communications) tackled as one of three speakers representing Canada at the recent Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.

Dr. Hannan’s panel, “The Proliferation of Lies: Media in the Post-Truth Political Era,” featured discussion among several prominent figures, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amanda Bennett and Carmen Perez, the National Co-Chair of the Women’s March and one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2017. The panel opened with a discussion of Dr. Hannan’s new book, Truth in the Public Sphere and its implications for global media and the future of democracy. Dr. Hannan argued that it is the fantasy of totalitarianism to live in a world without truth.

Organized by Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, the forum featured speakers from nearly 100 countries and welcomed over 2,000 guests.


Truth in the Public Sphere, edited by Dr. Jason Hannan, tackles the timely question:  Has truth become a casualty of America’s caustic and volatile political culture? Truth in the Public Sphere (Lexington, 2016) seeks to understand the significance of truth for the everyday world of human communication. The book explores the place of truth in several facets of the public sphere: language, ethics, journalism, politics, media, and art.

This book was written in light of Donald Trump’s bizarre presidential campaign,” said Hannan. “It helps to explain the post-truth culture that made his candidacy possible in the first place. It traces the degradation of truth in the American public sphere from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump, suggesting that we have entered a critical historical moment in which callous disregard for the truth endangers human lives and even the planet. But the book also offers some hope by demonstrating the resilience of “truth from below” by ordinary people for whom truth is inseparable from the fight for justice.”

Contributors include UWinnipeg’s Dr. Paul Lawrie (History). His chapter is entitled, “The Tragic Action and Revolutionary Intent of Black Lives: The Historical Genealogies and Corporeal Dynamics of Cornel West’s Prophetic Pragmatism in Post-Racial America.”


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