Fake or real? League of Women Voters’ program evaluates the news

Media Release

The League of Women Voters of Stillwater (LWVS) and the Stillwater Public Library welcome Dick Pryor, who will be presenting “Media Literacy in an Age of Alternative Facts” on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the library.

Pryor, general manager of KGOU Radio, will explain how community members can find less biased news sources and will provide techniques for assessing the news they see. Pryor will address news sources from across the political spectrum and will discuss how to contend with the proliferation of news and resources.

That is welcomed news to longtime LWVS member Pat Jaynes.

“I am bewildered by the amount of information coming from so many sources,” she said. “It is so hard to sort what is true or false.”

Library director Melody Kellogg believes the topic addresses one of the library’s primary functions.

“Information literacy is a core mission of our library,” said Melody Kellogg, Stillwater Public Library director. “Historically, librarians have been at the forefront of helping arm community members with the tools they need to judge the credibility of their information sources.”

According to Kellogg, the mission has gotten tougher as technology advances.

“Knowing how to evaluate information and resources has always been a crucial skill,” said Kellogg. “This is not a new concern, but the skill has become infinitely more important now that over 1.75 billion individual websites exist and now that internet users are bombarded every time they log into social media.”

Even though this daily bombardment can be a challenge, Pryor believes conquering it is a civic duty.

“To get beyond the effect of slanted or false reporting, it is now the responsibility of the viewer/reader to look for honest news sources,” he said. “Reliable news matters as a source of information that leads to meaningful discussions by a more informed and educated citizenry.”

Ultimately, the LWVS hopes the program will provide attendees the knowledge and confidence to more actively participate in democratic processes.

“How can we make informed decisions of national importance if we can’t trust our news sources?” asked Velda Lorenz, LWVS Co-President. “A free dissemination of facts is all we have defending our democracy.”

Pryor has more than 40 years of experience in television, radio, public relations, law and government service. He earned a B.A. in Journalism and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma.

Pryor began his career at KGOU Radio in Norman and worked as news and sports anchor/reporter, play-by-play-announcer and talk show host at many radio and public television stations in Oklahoma and Texas.

He worked at OETA for 25 years serving as anchor, moderator, news manager, managing editor and deputy director and hosted live election coverage. In Nov. 2016, Pryor returned to KGOU.

Pryor is an inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and received the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters Award for Political Reporting in 2015.

“Media Literacy in an Age of Alternative Facts” is free and open to the public. The program is co-sponsored by Oklahoma Engaged, a public service journalism collaboration of Oklahoma’s public broadcasting stations that provides election coverage. Find more information at www.oklahomaengaged.com.

For more information about LWVS, visit http://www.lwvstillwater.org.

Find information about Stillwater Public Library programs at http://library.stillwater.org.The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.