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What Makes a Fact True: Local Journalism and American Democracy

What Makes a Fact True: Local Journalism and American Democracy

Democracy and The Informed Citizen

Local columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning Richmond Times-Dispatch journalist Michael Paul Williams
will join Pulitzer-nominated journalist Chip Jones (Author of 2022 VCU Common Book--The Organ Thieves:
The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South
, Winner, 2021 Library of Virginia
Literary Award for Nonfiction) and local scholar Mallory Perryman, Ph.D., (Assistant Professor, Journalism,
Richard T. Robinson School of Media and Culture, Virginia Commonwealth University) to discuss the
importance of an informed citizenry in a healthy democracy. 

The program will address what it means to be informed and will cover truth and falsehoods in media -
and how to tell the difference.
Our speakers will highlight the importance of local journalism as a critical and
trusted voice in a healthy democracy and in turn how that voice supports an informed and engaged citizenry.
Scholar and moderator Dr. Perryman will keep a lively pace and support the conversation between Mr.
Williams and Mr. Jones as they discuss how one becomes media literate amid a barrage of truth, falsehoods,
and the degrees between, in local and national news, and why it makes a difference.

This timely subject matter may include conversation around how the concentration of media ownership
impacts local media and the news we consume daily. Other topics may include how news organizations drive
engagement through the manipulation of emotions, and how moneyed interests and a “click-bait” mentality
can impact our news consumption.

This free event will be held in person and live-streamed on the Richmond Public Library's YouTube channel

This program was developed by Meldon D. Jenkins-Jones, Senior Librarian, Law Librarian, Richmond Public Library, with funding support from the Virginia Center for the Book, a program of Virginia Humanities, as a part of its Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided generous support for this initiative, in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes


Tuesday, May 17, 2022
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Auditorium - Main Library
Author Visit   Civic Life   Law   Lectures & Talks   Life & Job Skills  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Meldon Jenkins-Jones
Meldon Jenkins-Jones

Meldon Jenkins-Jones is the Community Services Manager at Hull Street Library. She is a founder and the facilitator of the Oliver W. Hill Book Club which meets bi-monthly online. The book club is named in honor of Oliver W. Hill (1907–2007), a Richmond African American attorney and civil rights activist. His efforts, along with others’, resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional. The Oliver W. Hill Book Club invites readers to explore various books dealing with the law, civil rights, and social justice in America. Meldon also chairs the Get Lit Advisory Committee which supports the RPL Get Lit Reading Initiatives including the Black Male Emergent Readers (BMER) program, the Lit Chicks Read Book Clubs, the Ready Readers @Hull Street Library for K-5 students, and Real Men Read speakers bureau. 

Meldon is a graduate of the Leadership Metro Richmond Class of 2022. She was the first recipient of the Virginia Library Association (VLA) Librarians of Color Forum Award in 2021 and is an active member of VLA.

In 2011, Meldon received her Master of Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. She is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law--Newark and Smith College.

A Metro Richmond resident, Meldon is the mother of two adult children and enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren.

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