Making Democracy Work

Democracy Forum

Democracy Forum on WERU FM Community Radio

April - Fake News: Who Can You Trust

The League of Women Voters Downeast in cooperation with WERU FM is producing and sponsoring a monthly radio program on topics in participatory democracy. It's called the Democracy Forum.

Broadcasts may be heard live from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the third Friday of the month at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM Blue Hill, 99.9 FM Bangor. Listen live on the Web at WERU FM.

Join us the following Wednesday evening, 5:30 - 7:00, for an in-person public conversation on this topic.

Here is information about our upcoming broadcast.

April 21 - Fake News: Who Can You Trust?

"...It's not the lies that count but the muddying. When citizens can't tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit." Naomi Wolf

We'll talk about the proliferation of news sources in the internet age, the role of independent journalism in a liberal democracy, and the challenges for citizens in finding real news. We'll take listener calls during the second half of the show.

In case you missed it live, you can listen to this show from the archive at

Special Guests:

  • John Christie, co-founder and senior editor for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.
  • Naomi Schalit, co-founder and senior reporter for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.
  • Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication at Merrimack College in Massachusetts.

Key Topics:
  • What are the global trends that are affecting journalism and news in the internet age?
  • What is the history of professional standards in journalism? Do these standards still apply?
  • What's the difference between "fake news" and news with a point of view? Is there a liberal or conservative bias? Does that mean those sources are not trustworthy?
  • How can citizens keep abreast of these trends and find reliable sources of fact-based information -- if they want it?

To learn more, follow these links to related articles and essays:

Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.

April 26 -- Public Conversation

Join us at Pat's Pizza, Ellsworth, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. to continue the conversation on Fake News.

Special guests:

  • Earl Brechlin, editor of the Mount Desert Islander.
  • Stephen Fay, managing editor of the Ellsworth American.
  • Josh Roiland, Assistant Professor & CLAS-Honors Preceptor of Journalism in the Department of Communication and Journalism & the Honors College at the University of Maine.

Light snacks will be served; beverages will be available for purchase.

Future Topics in this Series

Join us to discuss important issues and how they affect us here in Maine. (Subject to change.)

FREE TRADE: Winners & Losers
May 19, Democracy Forum, WERU-FM, 10-11 am
May 24, Public Conversation 5:30-7:00pm

JOBS IN MAINE: What's the Future?
June 16, Democracy Forum, WERU-FM, 10-11 am
June 21, Public Conversation 5:30-7:00pm

July 21, Democracy Forum, WERU-FM, 10-11 am
July 26, Public Converation 5:30-7:00pm

September, October, November - To Be Announced

Past Topics in this Series

BALLOT QUESTIONS IN MAINE: Whose Initiatives Are They?

THE TWO MAINES: Can We Bridge the Divide?

Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.