War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
The slogans from George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” don’t seem so far-fetched after a contentious election season in which Donald Trump has continued to attack the media and fake news, via click-bait headlines, has many believing that lies are truth. We are truly living in a post-truth society where opinions and emotions are replacing facts and truth. So what is our role as journalism educators in combating these issues?
With this question in mind, JEA has selected the classic “1984” as the spring 2017 One Book. While reading, or re-reading, we ask members to think about how America is becoming/has become like Oceania, the dystopian super state where Big Brother controls its citizens through the use of constant surveillance, propaganda and fear – and then think about the ways in which we can help make change through media literacy and teaching responsible journalism, including law and ethics.
To help create a sense of community, JEA leaders and members will conduct a series of online chats about “1984” in the upcoming months, culminating with an informal book club meeting at the organization’s spring convention April 6-9, 2017, in Seattle.
Look for additional information coming in the new year.