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The History of Fake News (and the Importance of the World’s Oldest School of Journalism)

            The Boone County History & Culture Center is pleased to announce the opening of a new history exhibit in its galleries.  “The History of Fake News (and the Importance of the World’s Oldest School of Journalism)” opened on Friday, July 31 in the East Walters History Gallery.  

             Propaganda, deceit and spin have been around since man began communicating.  So, while the term, ‘Fake News’ seems to have come out of nowhere in the last couple of years, it has, in fact been around in some iteration for a very long time.

            Lately, it has been used to describe a social media phenomenon, or by some to define huge swaths of media outlets in general terms.  And there are those who use the phrase as a weapon – a slander or insult against sources of news that print or broadcast information that is disliked or not helpful to their cause.

            This exhibit attempts to explore the long history of hoaxes, misinformation, propaganda, unverified rumor or poor reporting, and hopes to illuminate what citizens should know about the term and its use as they continue to navigate a media universe where much of the news is delivered online, without verification, and often with an agenda.

            This exhibit also highlights the importance of the University of Missouri and it’s first-in-the-world Journalism School.  There isn’t a more perfect community in the United States to look back at the beginnings of the Journalists Creed, how it came to be a near universal mantra in the profession of journalism, and how we can make use of it today as we try to ascertain the truthfulness of the information we receive, and the integrity of those who create and deliver that information.

            The exhibit will run through early January 2019 at the Boone County History & Culture Center and is sponsored in part by The Columbia Daily Tribune.  Elements of the exhibit were loaned by the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Missouri Press Association’s Museum in Arrow Rock, Missouri.

            The exhibit’s curators are Clyde Bentley, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Journalism and Chris Campbell.  Graphic design by Suhey Campos.

About the Boone County History & Culture Center

The recently renamed Boone County History & Culture Center (formerly the Walters Boone County Historical Museum & Galleries) is a 29-year-old venue.  The Center’s main building, owned and operated by the 94-year-old Boone County Historical Society, is always admission-free and includes a museum store, a genealogical library and the Montminy Art Gallery.  The society is a nonprofit organization that depends on grants, donations, and membership dollars.   

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For more information contact Chris Campbell, Executive Director, Boone County Historical Society at the Boone County History & Culture Center, 573-443-8936, chriscampbell@boonehistory.org.