The History and Challenges of Reporting the News

Bill Plante, retired CBS News Correspondent and brother of club member John Plante, spoke to club members about his experiences as a reporter covering U.S. presidents. Using the quote often attributed to Mark Twain - "History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes" - he reviewed some of the relationships between U.S. presidents and the press and noted that publishing false information or attempting to go around or stifle the press are not new or unknown in our past. He noted the more challenging difficulties of determining fact from fiction in the current environment of 24/7 cable networks and social media. Especially troubling are modern technologies that allow people to alter film and recordings to alter the appearance of an actual event. He believes that all of this puts a greater responsibility on the consumer to evaluate any information more carefully as to its sources and reliability. Following his talk there was a lively Q&A session.