Annual SHU Media Exchange to Explore Impacts of Fake News

News Story: May 30, 2017
         From left are panelists Simon T. Bailey, Belinha De Abreu, Ellen McDonnell and moderator Faith Daniels.

Sacred Heart University’s School of Communication & Media Arts (SCMA) will be hosting its 6th annual SHU Media Exchange, June 22, with an interactive and live discussion titled “Fake News, Real Problems: Journalism and Education in the Digital Era.” The free event will take place at 6 p.m. at the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center. Produced entirely by graduate students, the program will also be streamed live on the WSHU Public Radio website.

Former NBC and CBS News Anchor Faith Daniels will return as the moderator for this year’s event. The expert panel also will include Simon T. Bailey, a motivational, Hall of Fame speaker and best-selling author; Ellen McDonnell, a retired National Public Radio news executive; and SHU Professor Belinha De Abreu, a media literacy expert.

The panelists will discuss their thoughts on current issues regarding “fake news,” how it affects society and the problems it causes. Audience members will have the opportunity to share their opinions as well.

Event faculty adviser Joseph Alicastro believes that this year’s topic is crucial to the foundation of our democracy, stating: “I do worry that many Americans are not getting their information from reliable sources.” Professor Alicastro is SHU’s director of news and broadcasting and has advised the Exchange from its start in 2012.

Professors, staff and graduate students are working hard on preparation and eagerly awaiting this year’s forum. “Approximately 40 students are all working together towards a shared goal of creating a meaningful program and exploring an important issue in the media industry. Because the topic of fake news is so important and so ‘in the news’, I’m more excited than ever about the prospects of this year’s SHU Media Exchange,” Alicastro said.

In addition to the open forum, the media exchange will highlight the SCMA graduate students and their talents, giving visitors a hands-on look at what the school’s graduate program has to offer. Guests are also invited to continue the conversation, and network with industry professionals, alumni and students at pre and post event receptions. Tours of the Martire Center will be offered.

To RSVP for this event, click here. For additional information, please contact Harshal Varpe at