Journalists Michelle Aleksandrovics and Craig Silverman will join UBC School of Journalism next semester as this year’s Canwest visiting professors.
Aleksandrovics is an experienced radio journalist who produces the show, Living Black, on SBS Radio in Australia, while Silverman is a journalist-entrepreneur known for his Regret the Error blog.
Each year the j-school brings one or more professional journalists into the classroom to share their expertise, made possible by an endowment from Canwest Global Communications Corp. The Canwest visiting professors provide students with an opportunity to learn specialized skills from journalists from all over the world.
“Both of these candidates address specific areas we are building out at the school,” says director Peter Klein. “Craig will share with students and faculty his innovative approach to tracking and verifying information in the cluttered digital media landscape, and Michelle will help our school broaden our view of reporting in Indigenous communities.”
Craig Silverman: ‘Is it true?’
On November 15, 2014 a headline was shared over 200,000 times – that headline claimed that a Texas turkey farm was contaminated with ebola.
Craig Silverman’s new project with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism asks one question: Is it true? The site, Emergent, focuses on how misinformation permeates across media, and through a rigorous verification process, works to debunk those rumours in real-time.
Emergent has reviewed more than 100 stories since last August. As for the Texas turkey farm, that turned out to be rumour.
Silverman is the founder and editor of Emergent. He has years of experience as a media watchdog. He founded the award-winning website, Regret the Error, which in 2011 was adopted by the Poynter Instutite. He was also a member of the team that launched OpenFile in Canada.
Silverman has written two books. The first, Regret the Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil the Free Speech, won a U.S. National Press Club Award.
At the School of Journalism, Silverman will address the digital landscape, how rumors are spread and what journalists can do to report the truth.
Previously Silverman was managing editor of PBS MediaShift and Idea Lab. He was also a columnist and blogger for The Globe And Mail, and a columnist for Columbia Journalism Review, the Toronto Star, BusinessJournalism.org.
Michelle Aleksandrovics: Reporting in Indigenous communities
With more than two decades of radio reporting experience, Michelle Aleksandrovics’ current role is as the national executive producer and broadcaster of Special Broadcasting Service’s Radio Living Black.
The focus of SBS is to report in multiple languages to reach as many communities of people as possible – regardless of location, language and cultural background.
Radio Living Black reports on news and issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. With this role Aleksandrovics is able to focus on what she terms, “socially-responsible reporting.”
Aleksandrovics has won numerous awards for her reporting including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union International Award and the UN Media Peace Award for Radio for her story, “Two Decades, Too Little, Too Late for Many: What became of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody?”
Her experience in reporting on indigenous stories and to indigenous audiences will be invaluable to the school’s students – especially those in next semester’s award-winning Reporting in Indigenous Communities class.