'Un-Spun' author urges students to look beyond political ads

September 17 2008

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, acclaimed author of "Un-Spun: finding facts in a world of disinformation" and other books, spoke to an eager audience at Indiana State University Monday (Sept. 15) about the importance of voting and getting to the bottom of the presidential campaigns.

"How many of you here tonight are registered to vote'" Jamieson began. "And of you that are registered to vote, how many actually plan on doing so'"

Jamieson told the audience the current generation of "young people," those 18 to 29, can in fact change the voting paradigm and the way candidates campaign in the future.

Nathan Held, a senior graphic design major from Indianapolis, said he came to see Jamieson because he learned so much from reading her book.

"She made good points about paying close attention to the meaning behind political language," said Held. "I thoroughly enjoyed her presentation."

After showing numerous examples of campaign ads, Jamieson expressed her concern for the amount of slander seen each and every day surrounding the upcoming election and its affects on our decisions.

"It's hard not to be cynical these days," Jamieson said. "Political messages and commercials tend to push you in one direction or the other without any meaning."

She went on to explain that it is the job of voters to dig deeper, past the smear ads and accusations and do some good old research. This is the reason why Web sites, such as factcheck.org, which Jamieson is in charge of, provides people with a lot of the truth and factual information they need to make accurate decisions about the presidential nominees.

Lloyd Taylor, a senior communications major said he heard about the event through his job at the ISU Office of Diversity and was interested because he had read her book "Un-Spun."

"My favorite part was when she showed the different attack ads surrounding each candidate," said Taylor. "I wish she would have shown us the ads she said were really bad."

Jamieson was the first of four speakers who will be presenting at Indiana State University this year as a part of the University Speakers Series. The next speaker in the series is Bill Kurtis, anchor of the A&E series American Justice and executive producer of Cold Case files, who will speak at 7 p.m. October 20 in Tilson Auditorium. ISU Speakers Series events are free.

Photo: Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Writer: Jennifer Spector, media relations intern, Office of Communications & Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or jspector@mymail.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, acclaimed author of "Un-Spun: finding facts in a world of disinformation" and other books, spoke to an eager audience at ISU about the importance of voting and getting to the bottom of the presidential campaigns. Jamieson is the first of four speakers scheduled to visit campus for the 2008-09 University Speakers Series.

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