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Tash: Democracy depends on telling facts from fake news

A statue of alumnus and World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle typing on his typewriter was installed in front of Franklin Hall [Indiana Daily Student]

  • Fact or fake? Democracy depends on our ability to tell the difference. Journalism can help. It can be a great civic asset. But the final responsibility rests with us as Americans.
  • Related: Who is Behind Fake News? The Empty Piety of the American Press

Paul Tash, Tampa Bay (FL) Times Bay Times Editor’s note: Paul Tash, the chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times, graduated from Indiana University in 1976. He was the speaker Saturday at the undergraduate commencement, where he delivered these remarks.

May 5, 2018 | While you were students here, the university installed a statue of Ernie Pyle, the World War II correspondent who was killed in combat. That statue sits outside the Media School and Franklin Hall. Its placement there illustrates the higher purpose of journalism: to serve the greater public good. Ernie Pyle belongs to all of us. He wrote for everybody.

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of editing, sponsoring or recognizing journalism at the highest professional standards. During my nine years on the board of the Pulitzer Prizes, I would marvel at the work that came before us, whether or not it won a prize. And I would leave those meetings struck by all the things the world simply would not know — except for the work of journalists.

Paul Tash, Tampa Bay (FL) Times chairman and CEO

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Who is Behind Fake News? The Empty Piety of the American Press, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.

  • Part 1: Who is Behind Fake News? The Brussels Terror Attacks: Fake Videos and Images. “The Man in the Hat”
  • Belgian authorities have identified and arrested the alleged (surviving) terror mastermind of the airport bombing.
  • Part 2: The Empty Piety of the American Press by Chris Hedges
  • The empty piety is a mask for self-interest.