Branch meetings are  held on the second Thursdays, September through May, at 8:45 AM (8:45- sign-ups, social time and registration; 9:30- Business Meeting; 10:30- Speaker; 11:30- Adjournment), at Trinity Lutheran Church, 14088 Clayton Rd. (at Woods Mill), Chesterfield, MO 63017.  Guests are always welcome!

NEXT MEETING: A SPECIAL EVENT – “It’s a Party!”  Reservations needed.  SEE MORE HERE!
Pictures below.

See our Schedule of programs and speakers for 2018-19

Our November branch meeting was held on Thursday, November 8, Co-President Marcia Block presiding.  Members heard reports from branch chairs, voted upon significant bylaws changes (ably presented by Chair Marsha Weppelman), and participated in Individual Giving Month (for contributions to the AAUW Fund).  Before the meeting and during the break, members registered for a variety of events.  Since next month’s meeting features a special FUNdraising event, “It’s a Party”, reservations were made and members learned about the variety of interesting gifts, foods, and entertainment that will be featured.  Today’s speaker was Betsy Bruce.

Why We All Need a Course in Media Literacy by Betsy Bruce
Betsy Bruce was the first woman to appear on TV News as a “street reporter”.  She has had a notable career in St. Louis Media News until her retirement, and was recognized for outstanding news reporting.  She spoke about current news delivery practices and their implications for reporting “true” news in today’s current media-centered atmosphere. Her talk was followed by a spirited Q & A session.
Betsy Bruce discussed:
MEDIA LITERACY: There is a need for awareness of the ease of circulating “fake” material.  “Who are you listening to? Who are you watching? What source are you tuning in to?” 3 questions an audience needs to ask.  St. Louis likes its local news sources, but the pressure of 14 hours of live coverage per day puts burdens on the industry.  There is simply not time or money for the fact checking that goes into good reporting.
WEBSITE NEWS: -There is a plethora of “fake news” sites.  Look for these URLs: *.gov, *.com, * or a personal website.  Beware of unknown letters .  Websites with catchy names or sensational “headlines”, known as “click-bait” are common sources for fake news or spurious “scandals”.  Ask yourself why the message was created and if it is “anti” something.
BIAS IN NEWS MEDIA:  There is an overwhelming bias against conservative points of view in public media. News as entertainment causes so-called reporting to morph into editorializing.  President Trump’s style is to push until someone pushes back, and present-day reporters now actually create this conflict and then “report” on it.  This is the “fake news” that creates controversy and attracts audiences. What was “reporting” has morphed into “editorializing”.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING IN THE MEDIA: The government itself actually has begun using the sensationalist  news media to get their message across, and journalists, under a time crunch, will exaggerate in order to draw audiences.  Campaign ads for candidates can be purchased at a group price by outside entities, and negative ads are often far removed from the actual candidates’ campaigns.

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