NYT Correspondent Tom Kaplan talks ‘fake news’ at FIU

Thomas Kaplan, Congressional Correspondent for The New York Times, spent the day at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.  Kaplan’s visit was part of FIU Global Learning’s partnership with the Times, which also includes the Tuesday Times Roundtable series, digital access to nytimes.com.

See the full video of Kaplan’s talk on YouTube:

Kaplan’s lecture, attended by 150 students, faculty, and staff, focused on fake news, including how the Times handled writing fact checks on candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign.  Kaplan and his colleagues experimented with new ways of promoting fact checking, including embedding fact checks in other articles, and fact checking live during debates.

Student Nannette Boza with Tom Kaplan

Tom Kaplan took time to meet FIU students including Nannette Boza, graduating senior studying international relations.

“Helping people cut through the noise and get the facts is an important part of political journalism, especially in this era of fake news,” Kaplan said. “During last year’s campaign, it was clear that readers were hungry for fact-checking, and it’s important work outside of campaign season, too, because fact-checking is one way that news organizations can fulfill their mission of holding elected officials accountable.”

Kaplan’s visit was well received by students, including Nannette Boza, chair of FIU’s Peace Corps Prep program.  “Kaplan’s lecture really resonated me, because during the election, I remember it being very difficult to differentiate between a legitimate story and fake Web sites,” Boza said. “Kaplan provided ways to tackle this issue head-on.”

Another student who could not attend recognized the importance of Kaplan’s visit via Twitter:

“Students had many timely questions about politics and journalism, and they seemed eager to grapple with some of the challenges facing political reporters and fact-checkers,” Kaplan said after his lecture.

In addition to the late afternoon public talk, Kaplan visited two FIU courses: a course on persuasion, taught by Antoine Hardy in the School of Communication, and a writing strategies class led by Glenn Hutchinson.




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