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Are We Living in a Post-Fact Society?

Laura Weber Davis/WDET

Nathan Bomey

Nathan Bomey covered Detroit’s bankruptcy as a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, and wrote the book on that saga: “Detroit Resurrected: to Bankruptcy and Back”.

In his new book, though, Bomey takes on the loss of common factual information and how that loss of accepted truth led to the discord that produced Donald Trump’s presidency. 

The book is titled “After the Fact: The Erosion of Truth and Inevitable Rise of Donald Trump.” It is set to be released on Tuesday.

Bomey outlines how our behaviors and expectations and, in some cases, even our happiness are becoming shaped, and controlled by social media, modern communication, and the news we consume and share.

Bomey tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson the data show people only look at articles for a few seconds and then click away.

Unfortunately, I do think many [news] outlets are chasing hits… and that’s leading to a lack of nuance [in reporting and understanding],” Bomey says. “That leads to a lack of depth.”

To hear more from Bomey on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.


In Bomey’s book, he cites research and other work done by several academic institutions and think tanks. Here’s a list of some of them, linked to their homepages:

Harvard University’s Center for Research on Computation and Society

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School

Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research’s Center for Political Studies

University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health

The Evolving Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Wyoming

Project Information Literacy

University of Montreal’s Institute for Learning Algorithms 

Uber’s Artificial Intelligence Labs

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center

The International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter

 

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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