In January, the Annenberg Public Policy Center brought together scholars in the fields of communication and debate and speech at a conference in Honolulu to review and make recommendations on current projects at the policy center. The scholars:
- Evaluated the political literacy website FlackCheck.org and its Patterns of Deception videos and recommended alternative ways to present the information, revisions of the taxonomy, and strategies for how to teach the patterns in the classroom.
- Critiqued drafts of videos for the Tobacco Watch project that is aimed at debunking myths about tobacco use directed at young people.
- Examined ways to connect the Common Core standards and the field of communication.
- Made recommendations about how the current presidential debates could be changed to make them more effective and useful for voters. The scholars addressed topics that included the role of the moderator, the format, types of questions, debate themes, and the audience.
Participants were: Scott Stroud, assistant professor of communication studies, University of Texas; Carol Winkler, professor of communication studies and associate dean for the humanities, Georgia State University; Thomas Hollihan, professor of communication, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Lynn Goodnight, author of a high school textbook on debate; Nikki Zarefsky, a retired K-12 teacher who was a reading specialist; David Zarefsky; professor emeritus of communication studies and Owen L. Coon professor emeritus of argumentation and debate, Northwestern University; G. Thomas Goodnight, professor and director of doctoral studies, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Natalia Stroud, associate professor of communication studies, University of Texas; Patricia Riley, associate professor and director of the global communication master’s degree program, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center; and Gordon Stables, assistant dean for student affairs, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and director of debate and forensics at USC.