CCCE Director Lance Bennett has joined the Advisory Committee of the Social Science Research Council program on Media & Democracy. This program seeks to understand the evolving relationship between media, technology, and democratic life. By building bridges across disciplines and industries, the program works to consolidate an otherwise variegated field of scholars and practitioners. He has also co-organized (with Steven Livingston of George Washington University) workshop series on “A Modern History of the Disinformation Age: Communication, Technology and Democracy in Transition.” Workshop participants are engaged in discussion of three related areas of research with the goal of producing a book to chart a course for this emerging field:
- The role of think tanks, business sectors, and partisan political organizations in casting doubt on scientific facts, challenging the integrity of mainstream news organizations, and attacking the competency and legitimacy of government.
- How innovations in media technology have disrupted the delicate balance between markets, regulation, and the provision of public goods such as news.
- How networked communication technologies are reshaping public discourse, political engagement, the news media, and democratic institutions more broadly.
In conjunction with the first workshop meeting in December, 2018, a roundtable interview with Yochai Benkler (Harvard), Paul Starr (Princeton), Naomi Oreskes (Harvard), and Jane Mayer (The New Yorker) was filmed at the George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs.