METHODIST College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL) has invited Political Science and International Affairs Professor Dr Stephen J. Farnsworth from the University of Mary Washington to deliver a public lecture on the topic of fake news.

A Fulbright specialist currently lecturing at MCKL, Farnsworth will be teaching students of MCKL’s American Degree Transfer Program (ADTP) the American Government course, with the public lecture by him to take place in early July.

“I will talk about why there is fake news, because there is a reason for it. I will also talk about ways you can be more skeptical if something seems ridiculous or too good to be true. One of the most important things we can do today in the evaluation of news is to consider the source,” he said on what the public lecture will tackle.

“If we think about that and we do not know where it came from, maybe we should be a bit more wary about what is being said. These are the painful realities, we have to do this kind of analysis now. So consuming the news is harder even though it is easier to get information.”

Having spent 10 years as a journalist before pursuing graduate school, Farnsworth has gone on to even author and co-author six books on the United States of America’s presidency and mass media. It was this impressive intellectual history that has brough Farnsworth to MCKL.

Farnsworth’s American Government class will cover how elections work, how the American presidency operates, the mass media and its role in the political system, along with public opinion and its role in politics.

“The goal I have in this class is the goal that I have in every class; (provide the students with a chance) to think critically about what is going on in US politics and have a better sense of what is working or not in the US political system.

“It’s a rare opportunity for me to have a classroom of people looking at the US from the outside. When I teach my classes in Virginia, just about everybody in that class grew up in the United States. Whereas here everyone is looking at the country as an outsider,” Farnsworth explains.

The public lecture by Dr Farnsworth will take place on July 6, 2019, at MCKL. Titled “Seeking Truth in an Era of Fake News”, the lecture will offer suggestions on identifying and responding to fake news in traditional news outlets and social media platforms.