Do you think the truth matters?

NYS Writers Institute's "Telling the Truth" symposium tackles one of the most pressing matters in America today

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A selection of NYS Writers Institute's Telling the Truth panelists (Bob Schieffer, Ashleigh Banfield, Kurt Andersen, Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman, Maria Hinojosa, Glenn Thrush, Kelley Vlahos)

ALBANY, NY (10/05/2017) (readMedia)-- Does the truth matter anymore?

The New York State Writers Institute will host "Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World," October 12-14 on the University at Albany campus, a symposium featuring acclaimed journalists, authors, historians, and First-Amendment scholars, who will discuss topics crucial to the survival of an open democratic society in today's "Post-Truth" environment.

Topics will include "fake news" and alternative facts, media in the age of new technology, the first amendment and free speech, presidents and the press, race and class in a democracy, and cybercrimes and civil liberties, among others.

The symposium opens on Thursday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom on the University at Albany's Uptown Campus. WAMC's Joe Donahue will conduct an on-stage interview with Kurt Andersen, Peabody-winning host of WNYC's public radio program Studio 360, and author of the new book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History (2017), that explores the post-factual, "fake news" moment we're all living through, with its blurred lines between reality and illusion, from a historical perspective. Television journalist Tom Brokaw said Fantasyland "is a blockbuster of a book. Kurt Andersen is a dazzling writer and a perceptive student of the many layers of American life. Take a deep breath and dive in."

There is a $30 admission charge for the Kurt Andersen event, which includes a copy of Fantasyland (Free for UAlbany students with valid ID) Contact The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (518-489-4761) for advance tickets/book, or purchase at the door. (All other events are free. Seating is first come, first served.)

The symposium events continue on Friday, October 13, and Saturday, October 14, at Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue on the UAlbany Downtown Campus, with a series of panel discussions and audience Q & A sessions.

The NYS Writers Institute has partnered with the not-for-profit Grassroots Givers to collect children's books at the symposium. Attendees are encouraged to drop off "gently used" or "like-new" children's books at the Grassroots Givers table in the Page Hall lobby. The books will be given to children in need in Albany.

The Friday and Saturday schedule of panel topics and participants follows:

Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World Symposium

October 13 and 14, Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, UAlbany Downtown Campus

October 13 (Friday):

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Panel

Media in the Age of New Technology: Fake News, Information Overload & Media Literacy

Moderator: Bob Schieffer, moderator for three presidential debates, former anchor of CBS Evening News and Face the Nation, and author of Overload: Finding the Truth in Today's Deluge of News (2017)

Panelists: Franklin Foer, staff writer for The Atlantic and former editor of The New Republic, and author of World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech (2017)

David Goodman, contributor to Mother Jones magazine and co-author with his sister Amy Goodman of the book Democracy Now! Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America (2016)

Maria Hinojosa, trailblazing journalist and talk show host, anchor and executive producer of Latino USA and founder of the Futuro Media Group, dedicated to promoting diversity in American media

Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School, originator of "net neutrality" and author of Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (2010), and The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads (2016)

8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Panel

Presidents and the Press: Trump, Nixon & More

Moderator: Bob Schieffer, moderator of three presidential debates and former anchor of CBS Evening News and Face the Nation

Panelists: Douglas Brinkley, CNN Presidential historian and biographer of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford

Amy Goodman, investigative reporter, host and producer of the award-winning news program, Democracy Now! that airs on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide

Harry Rosenfeld, Albany Times Union editor-at-large, and former Metro editor for The Washington Post who oversaw the paper's coverage of Watergate

Glenn Thrush, White House correspondent for The New York Times

October 14 (Saturday):

9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Panel

Dirty Deeds: Election Mischief, Cybercrimes & Civil Liberties

Moderator: Victor Asal, UAlbany faculty expert in terrorism and homeland security and Chair, Department of Public Administration

Panelists: Russell Banks, bestselling novelist, past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and founder and president of Cities of Refuge North America

David Daley, former editor of Salon, Digital Media Fellow at the University of Georgia, and author of Ratf**ed: The True Story Behind the Secret Plans to Steal America's Democracy (2016)

James Steiner, ex-CIA official and Program Coordinator for Homeland Security, Cyber Security and Emergency Management; and Public Service Professor, UAlbany's Rockefeller College

Kelley Vlahos, managing editor of The American Conservative, longtime political writer for, and journalist specializing in national security, war policy, and civil liberties

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Panel

Race, Class & the Future of Democracy

Moderator: Gilbert King, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Devil in the Grove (2012)

Panelists: Carol Anderson, professor of African-American History at Emory University and author of the national bestseller, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (2016)

José Cruz, Director of UAlbany's Center for Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies, and author of Puerto Rican Identity, Political Development, and Democracy in New York, 1960-1990 (2017)

Juan González, investigative reporter, co-host of Democracy Now! and author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America (2000), and Reclaiming Gotham (2017)

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, journalist, MacArthur Fellow, and author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx (2003)

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Panel

The First Amendment & Free Speech Under Attack

Moderator: Ashleigh Banfield, award-winning journalist and TV personality, host of Primetime Justice on HLN and former anchor of CNN'S Legal View

Panelists: Floyd Abrams, the nation's pre-eminent First Amendment attorney, senior counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, and author of The Soul of the First Amendment (2017)

Anthony Paul Farley, James Campbell Matthews Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at Albany Law School, where he teaches Advanced Constitutional Law

Kristina Findikyan, senior counsel at Hearst, one of the nation's largest media companies, where she specializes in First Amendment and libel law

Richard Honen, corporate attorney in charge of the Albany office of Phillips Lytle LLP and conservative commentator on WAMC's The Roundtable

7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Panel

The End of Newspapers?

Moderator: Rex Smith, editor of the Albany Times Union and host of "The Media Project" on WAMC

Panelists: Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times and director of The Marshall Project, an investigative journalism project on criminal justice issues

Pamela Newkirk, journalist and professor of journalism at NYU, and author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media (2000)

Jim Rich, Executive Editor of HUFFPOST (The Huffington Post), and former Editor-in-Chief at the NY Daily News.

Richard Tofel, founding general manager and current president of ProPublica-the independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest-and former assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal

8:45 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Book signing and public reception

On Friday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Page Hall on the UAlbany Downtown Campus the Institute will show ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, the quadruple Oscar-winning film about The Washington Post's reporting on the Watergate scandal. This screening will be followed by a discussion with Harry Rosenfeld, Albany Times Union editor-at-large and former Metro editor for The Washington Post who was in charge of the daily coverage of the Watergate exposé.

Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World has received funding support from the following sponsors:

Premier Sponsors: Albany Times Union; Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund

Presenting Sponsors: Behan Communications; Renaissance Corporation of Albany (in memory of John C. Egan)

Supporting Sponsors: Albany Public Library Foundation; Center for Law and Justice; Foundation for Information Resources, Science, and Technology; Hodgson Russ LLP; M&T Bank; Law, Youth, and Citizenship Program of the NYS Bar Association; St. Peter's Health Partners; UHY LLP; Pernille AEgidius Dake; Paul Grondahl; William Kennedy

Friends: Bernard F. Conners Foundation; Foy Foundation Advised Fund; Kathryn Gibson; Margaret and Jonathan Harvey; New York Newspapers Foundation

Events and panelists subject to change. For the latest information on the schedule and participants go to

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