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The Changing Media Landscape: How the Era of “Fake News” Impacts PR

September 21, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 2:30 pm

Our constantly shifting political climate, coupled with the media’s evolving role, has created an unprecedented environment for journalists and the communications professionals that work with them. What are the challenges associated with the rise of “fake” news, and how are journalists are combating it? What is the outlook for the future of media?

Join the Central Ohio chapter of PRSA on Sept. 21 for an in-depth professional development event featuring industry experts and prominent journalists designed to help you thrive as a communications professional in a time of growing uncertainty and cynicism.

Featured Speakers:

Al Tompkins
Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online
The Poynter Institute

Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. For almost 10 years, thousands of people a day read his online journalism story idea column “Al’s Morning Meeting” on Poynter.org.

Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters,” which was adopted by more than 75 universities as their main broadcast writing textbook.

He co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn. For 24 years, he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer and news director.

Tompkins has trained thousands of television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his One-Day Storytelling Workshops in 45 states, Canada, Denmark, Iceland and South Africa. He has taught and coached print newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad how to build interactive news websites, how to use video more effectively online and how to manage ethical issues that arise online.


Valerie Lopez
Vice President, Media Research

Valerie has over 17 years’ experience in public relations and communications, and is a seasoned expert in influencer outreach and blogger relations. Valerie oversees the maintenance and enhancement of Cision’s media database of over 1.6 million media outlets, influencers, and editorial opportunities. She is also a regular host of Cision’s popular webinar series. Past webinars include Uncover Your Audience’s Influencers, Targeting the Media to Build More Productive Relationships and The New Media Mix – Finding the Right Balance Between Traditional and Social Media. Valerie joined Cision, then Bacon’s Information, in 2000. She holds bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and gender studies from Indiana University Bloomington.


Doug Buchanan
Editor in Chief
Columbus Business First

Doug Buchanan is editor in chief of Columbus Business First, Central Ohio’s leading resource for the local business community for the past 30 years. Doug has been with the paper for nearly two decades, starting out as a banking reporter and serving as managing editor for several years before taking over in 2017. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University and majored in East Asian Studies at Wittenberg University. A native of northeast Ohio, he lives in German Village.



Brian Zuercher
Seen and 1812 Columbus

Brian is the Founder and CEO of SEEN. SEEN brings to life the meaningful stories to connect help brands and communities build trust and loyalty. Actively involved in the startup community, Brian was the lead organizer for Columbus Startup Week and founder/host at the monthly morning pitch event for entrepreneurs, WakeUp StartUp. Additionally, he has an extensive background in building and launching products at SEEN, Clearwish (founder), and Woods Industries. Brian holds a BS in Marketing from Butler University and an MBA in Technology Commercialization from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.



George Pearson
Journalism and Public Opinion Researcher
The Ohio State University

George Pearson is a PhD student in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. His research focusses on digital journalism and the impact this has on modern news audiences, which has led to a new theoretical approach he calls ‘way-finding’. A recent paper applying this approach to fake news was awarded the MacDougall Student Paper Award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Before entering academia, George worked as the Communications Officer for the Council of the Isles of Scilly, on a small group of islands off the coast of the United Kingdom.


The Bluestone
583 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215 United States
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