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Is that a fact?

We open the third season of our podcast Is that a fact? on April 6 with the episode Chatbots are supercharging search: Are we ready? — a conversation about chatbots and the sophisticated artificial intelligence technology behind them. Will Knighta senior writer at Wired magazine who covers artificial intelligence, joins us to discuss this emergent technology and what it means for society. We continue our conversation about AI on April 20 with Madhumita Murgia, the first AI editor at the Financial Times. She’ll speak with us about recent developments in the field, including ChatGPT-4 and Google Bard, and the impact of AI technology on journalism.Stay tuned for new episodes every other Thursday.


All Episodes

Is that a fact?, NLP’s new podcast, informs listeners about news literacy issues that affect their lives through informative conversations with experts working to combat misinformation.


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Season 2 Episode 7

Sandy Hook at 10: Tragedy, conspiracy theories and justice, part two

This episode of “Is that a Fact?” is part two of a two-part episode marking the 10th anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman murdered 20 first graders and six adults.

Season 2 Episode 6

Sandy Hook at 10: Tragedy, conspiracy theories and justice, part one

This episode of “Is that a Fact?” is part one of a two-part episode marking the 10th anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman murdered 20 first graders and six adults. Soon after, conspiracy theories calling the massacre a hoax emerged. And they have persisted for a decade, thanks to amplification and profiteering by alt-Right media figure Alex Jones.

Season 2 Episode 5

Are journalists getting the immigration story right?

In this episode, we interview Dr. Reece Jones, chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall, for an overview of the most enduring false narratives that have shaped our public conversations about immigration.

Season 2 Episode 4

Disinformation and Russia’s War in Ukraine

In this episode we talk to two journalists covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine to help us better understand how disinformation and propaganda are obscuring, or outright contradicting, the facts, both within Russia and beyond its borders.

Season 2 Episode 3

The politicization of the pandemic

In this episode, we set out to explore whether false narratives about the pandemic and the COVID-19 vaccines have overshadowed science or whether science has managed to hold its own, particularly in light of the politicization of the pandemic.

Season 2 Episode 2

Perception or reality: Just how divided is America, really?

In this episode, we set out to explore whether the narrative of the country’s deep political polarization is fiction or reality.

Season 2 Episode 1

How 9/11 truthers planted the seeds for QAnon

For the second season of Is that a fact?, we’re exploring the origins of false narratives and the harm they have caused.

Season 1 Episode 11

Special: Is misinformation to blame for vaccine hesitancy?

In this special episode of “Is that a fact?” we explore why some people remain hesitant to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines, despite growing evidence that inoculation is the key to getting our lives and the economy back on track, and we consider how much misinformation is to blame.

Season 1 Episode 10

How much did misinformation impact the election?

In our season finale, Enrique Acevedo of CBS’ “60 in 6,” Dr. Joan Donovan of the Shorenstein Center and Jane Lytvynenko of BuzzFeed News discuss how misinformation impacted the 2020 elections and what the near future of misinformation might look like.

Season 1 Episode 9

Truth Decay: Why Americans are turning away from facts

In our penultimate episode of the season, we speak to Jennifer Kavanagh, senior political scientist at RAND corporation, who describes a growing phenomenon she and her colleagues call “Truth Decay” and why Americans are rejecting formally trusted institutions.

Season 1 Episode 8

The mainstreaming of conspiracy theories

In this episode, Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst who is now the vice president for analysis for Alethea Group, where she leads disinformation investigations in the private sector explains why conspiracy theories have become more mainstream, what’s lending them such currency and what we can do to inoculate ourselves against them.

Season 1 Episode 7

Why democracy falters without local news

We speak to Gilbert Bailon, the editor-in-chief of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, about the importance of local news to American democracy and why we all should care about the loss of local newspapers across the country.

Season 1 Episode 6

Who are journalism's new gatekeepers?

Rebecca Aguilar, a multiple Emmy award-winning reporter who recently became the first Latina president-elect of the Society of Professional Journalists, talks about how the gatekeeping role of journalists has been altered by the internet and social media, what’s been lost, but also what’s been gained.

Season 1 Episode 5

Here's what we know about Russia's disinformation campaigns

Deen Freelon, associate professor at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC, Chapel Hill talks about how foreign adversaries, and particularly the Internet Research Agency in Russia, are using social media platforms against us.

Season 1 Episode 4

Kara Swisher on why Facebook is a threat to democracy

In this episode, our guest is Kara Swisher, one of the premiere tech columnists in the country, who talked about how social media platforms have affected our ability to talk to one another.

Season 1 Episode 3

Can journalism survive an authoritarian ruler?

In this episode, we speak to Filipina journalist Maria Ressa about the rise of misinformation, the role of tech in misinformation and her battles with President Duterte.

Season 1 Episode 2

How can the press serve our fractured country?

In this episode, we speak to Michael Luo, editor of the, about a piece he wrote on The Hutchins Commission which was formed during World War II to decide how the press could serve democracy during a period of intense political strife and distrust in the media.

Season 1 Episode 1

Can democracy survive the rise of misinformation?

In our premiere episode of this first season of our podcast, we talk to Dartmouth government professor Brendan Nyhan about the state of American democracy today.


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