Journalists have long been charged with sorting fact from fiction through their reporting. But what happens when readers redefine what they see as truth and what they’ll accept as fact?
In this free instructional program with the National Press Club Journalism Institute, Williamson will share her reporting and research process, along with insights she gained as she connected the dots on how conspiracy theories grow. Williamson, whose critically-acclaimed book “Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth” published this spring, will describe how she threaded together more than 400 interviews, 10,000 pages of court testimony and other records, and on-the-ground reporting to trace a line from conspiracy theories around Sandy Hook to Jan. 6, 2021.New York Times writer and author Elizabeth Williamson is among journalists confronting the rampant rise and spread of conspiracy theories through her reporting and research. Her current work has focused around unraveling the targeted misinformation and lies spread after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the surviving families’ lawsuits against Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and the election disinformation fueling the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack.
Participants will learn to:
- Identify how misinformation and political conspiracy theories have spread;
- Work with sensitivity and clarity while reporting on conspiracy theories;
- Pre-bunk conspiracy theories through early reporting;
- Use trauma-informed reporting methods while working with people suffering tragedy; and
- Organize reporting and deep research to craft a long-form narrative.
Registration is open for this program, which will take place on Friday, June 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.