Media critic and Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan to deliver Kilgour Lecture

Release date: 

March 15, 2017

Brendan Nyhan, Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, will deliver the 2017 OCLC/Frederick G. Kilgour Lecture on March 31, closing the half-day conference “What Should We Be Worried About?: Information and Media in the Trump Era.” The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and the UNC School of Media and Journalism are co-sponsoring the conference.

Nyhan’s talk, “Factual Echo Chambers? Fact-checking and Fake News in Election 2016,” addresses the concern that Americans now live in information echo chambers that reinforce not just their opinions, but also their factual beliefs. Nyhan will present results of the first behavioral measure of consumption of the worst online misinformation, “fake news,” as well as estimates of the popularity and effectiveness of fact-checking, the most prominent journalistic response to misinformation.

Using data collected during the peak of the general election campaign, Nyhan and his collaborators have assessed how much fact-checking and fake news are consumed by the public, the degree of selective exposure to these forms of content, and the effectiveness of fact-checking in informing the public. 

Nyhan’s research focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care. Before coming to Dartmouth, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. He has also been a contributor to The New York Times website The Upshot since its launch in 2014. He previously served a media critic for Columbia Journalism Review; co-edited Spinsanity, a non-partisan watchdog of political spin that was syndicated in Salon and the Philadelphia Inquirer; and co-authored All the President's Spin, a New York Times bestseller that Amazon.com named one of the 10 best political books of the year in 2004.