“Can your generation distinguish reliable from unreliable information on the internet? How much do you think that matters?” The New York Times recently posed those two questions in an article about news and media literacy. The focus was on young people, and the value of critical thinking skills.

Should news and media literacy should be required courses in schools? How can people of all generations better distinguish between trusted sources and misinformation? Our guests weigh in:

A new study by the Pew Research Center shows Americans over the age of 50 are worse than younger people at discerning facts from opinions. The research challenges ideas that younger people who are digitally savvy might be more susceptible to misinformation. In reality, researchers say exposure to television news – which is largely consumed by older people – is part of the issue because it sometimes blends facts and opinions.

This hour, we discuss the results of the study and explore how different types of media influence different generations of Americans. In studio:

  • Zeynep Soysal, assistant professor in philosophy at the University of Rochester
  • Ray Martino, lecturer in the School of Management at Nazareth College, and former partner at Martino Flynn
  • Quinisha Onye, expat
  • Brad Ford, senior equity compensation analyst at Constellation Brands

CNN reported on voters who unknowingly hosted campaign events sponsored by Russians. One woman in Florida did not believe the FBI's evidence, and told off CNN on camera. That encounter has gone viral, prompting several questions. Among them: did the reporter harass the woman? Could the reporter have approached that encounter differently? How can we break through when so many of us are determined never to change our minds?

Our guests:

Is “fake news” our own fault? Mike Johansson says in many ways, it is. He's a lecturer of communication at RIT with experience in a number of newsrooms.

We talk about who's to blame, and what we can do to stop being so susceptible. Our guests:

When reports surfaced that not even BuzzFeed was meeting its earnings targets, young journalists might have wondered: is there a future in this field for me? BuzzFeed has been among the hottest media properties. If the strongest players are struggling, what does that mean for students considering journalism as a career?

We discuss job prospects and the news media landscape. In studio:

How much should journalists rely on anonymous sources? Every organization treats this issue with its own standards. There is not a single rule or guideline. Some newsrooms are weighing whether to scrap reporting if no sources will go on the record. Others, like the New York Times, run entire stories based on conversations with anonymous sources -- for example, the recent controversial piece about Trump's selection for Energy Secretary, Rick Perry.

In the age of Trump, there might be more temptation to use anonymous sources, as reporters try to peel back what's going on in Washington. What should the standards be? Our guests:

"Post-truth." "Fake news." It's a new world of information and misinformation, and for journalists, it's about to get even more challenging.

President-Elect Trump has shown consistent hostility to news organizations. Considering that, is this a moment of reckoning for the entire industry? Why do so many Americans profess such rancor to the press? How might that change? Our guests:

On Friday, November 20, 150 University of Rochester students marched and demanded that the university “implement immediate and lasting changes that will reduce intolerable acts of racism that students of color endure at our university.”

University president Joel Seligman has responded, promising to establish a Commission on Racial Relations.

We hear from a student who wants change, and we welcome a pair of University of Rochester administrators. Our guests:

Jon Stewart is retiring from "The Daily Show". What is his legacy, and where does the show go next? Brian Williams is out for six months; is this, as Don Alhart said on this show earlier this week, the turning point for news anchors? Should it be? We'll have lots of clips as we discuss the implications with media experts Tom Proietti and Scott Fybush in studio.

Jon Stewart Leaving "The Daily Show"

Feb 10, 2015
Martin Crook / Comedy Central

Jon Stewart announced at Tuesday's taping of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" that he will be leaving the show he's hosted since 1999. The network confirmed the announcement with a statement released on the network's twitter account after the news started to spread on Twitter.

Stewart took over the program from original host Craig Kilborn, and turned the parody news program into one of the most influential pop-culture programs, winning Emmy and Peabody awards.