January 20, 2022 at 10:36 am

Contemporary History Institute hosts panel discussion on ‘misinformation and disinformation’ on Feb. 3

From Ohio University News

The Contemporary History Institute hosts a panel discussion on the recent history of mis- and disinformation—focusing primarily on the relationship of U.S. presidents and the news media since the 1970s—on Thursday, Feb. 3, from noon to 1 p.m. on Teams.

This panel focuses on tactics used by presidential administrations to diminish the influence of journalism as an institution of democracy since Nixon.

Misinformation and disinformation are all over the news on topics ranging from the U.S. elections to COVID. This conversation will be moderated by Aimee Edmondson, professor of media law and journalism history at Ohio University. Speakers include Jon Marshall, Amber Roessner, and Tom Mascaro.

Jon Marshall, portrait

Jon Marshall

Marshall is an associate professor at the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Communications and the author of Watergate’s Legacy and the Press: The Investigative Impulse and Clash: Presidents and the Press in Times of Crisis, which will come out May 1. He will kick off the discussion about the relationship between presidents in the press by tracing the history of intense partisanship in the media, which began in the days of George Washington. He will focus on how the end of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan has served to intensify that partisanship.

Amber Roessner, portrait

Amber Roessner

Roessner is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism & Electronic Media. She will discuss how the Carter Administration borrowed from Richard Nixon’s playbook to reinstate the White House Office of Communications in order to engage in long-range planning around presidential imagecraft and pseudo-events designed circumvent the White House Press Corps.  Though Carter was never known as a master communicator, his communications game-plan became a model for future administrations. Moreover, the adversarial chess match that then ensued among White House communication strategists and journalists has contributed to the lingering credibility crisis in U.S. presidential politics and news media.

Tom Mascaro, portrait

Tom Mascaro

Mascaro, professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University, will unpack how the conservative-media project originating in the late 1960s manifested as Trump’s assault on the media and contributed to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He will discuss the racism, xenophobia, and acts of human cruelty embedded in the mis/disinformation campaigns of Trump-era commentators and contrast these with the Reagan and Nixon eras.

For more details and a link to the program on Teams, contact Ingo Trauschweizer, professor of history in the College of Arts & Sciences and director of the institute, at


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