Bob Schieffer, H. Andrew Schwartz examine issue of fake news, media overload


Colin Yaccarino | Photo Editor

Schieffer and Scwartz sat down to talk news at Rogers Memorial Chapel.

In a world in which people are constantly bombarded by information, it can be difficult to determine what is actually true. In his book “Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News,” Bob Schieffer, television journalist and former host of ‘Face the Nation,’ explores the problems associated with fake news and informs readers on how to spot false reporting.

Schieffer sat down with co-author H. Andrew Schwartz, chief communications officer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to discuss their new book on Nov. 8 at Rogers Memorial Chapel.

Tulane students said they attended the event to learn how to spot and avoid fake news.

“I’ve always been interested in political journalism as a future career choice, and having two experts on the subject come to campus was really fantastic and also convenient,” sophomore Shannon Armstrong said.

Schieffer and Schwartz sought to find out whether the influx of information people receive on a daily basis is making society more informed or just overwhelmed.

“The conclusion, obviously, is that we’re just overwhelmed,” Schieffer said.

Armstrong agreed, reflecting on the state of news today and how it impacts society.

“It’s really hard to decipher for the average American. I think that’s one of the most pressing issues facing our society,” Armstrong said. “And being able to decipher what is true from what is false is absolutely imperative.”

Given the number of news sources with which people come into contact on a daily basis, it seems it is more important than ever to know from where the information comes. Speaking from their own experiences, Schieffer and Schwartz discussed the question of what journalists should do regarding the abundance of fake news.

According to Schieffer, the best way to succeed as a journalist is to learn from those who are more experienced. Though he admits journalism school teaches people to think like a journalist, Schieffer also points out that to learn how to become a reporter, one must go out and report the news. But first, reporters should understand the role of journalism.

“Understand the difference in what the politician does and what the reporter does,” Schieffer said. “The politician delivers the message. The role of the journalist is simply to check that message out, find out if it’s true or false, and report on its impact on the government.”

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