Lee Professor Publishes Book On Fake News And Christianity

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - by Naudia O’Steen, Lee University
Dr. Michael Smith
Dr. Michael Smith

Lee University’s Dr. Michael Smith recently self-published his newest book, “Fake News, Truth-Telling and Charles M. Sheldon’s Model of Accuracy: How a Clergyman Insisted on Accuracy as Job One,” on Amazon. 

“Audiences sometimes think in terms of ‘my media’ and ‘the media,’” Dr. Smith said, quoting author Tom Rosenstiel. “Naturally, ‘my media’ is accurate and value-neutral but ‘THE media’ is hopelessly biased and not concerned with fake news as along as it advances the agenda of the organization. I’m hopeful my book will provide some remedies and insight to this issue along with insight into the role of accuracy pioneered by Charles M. Sheldon, a clergyman-turned-journalist.” 

Dr. Smith, a professor of public relations at Lee and former journalist and journalism professor, examines how Charles M. Sheldon used his faith-based sensibilities to edit a mainstream newspaper and pioneer the need for accuracy in journalism. Mr. Sheldon approached the newspaper owner with an idea to produce a completely accurate, fully fact-checked newspaper to demonstrate a faith-based, general-circulation newspaper was viable. For one week, Mr. Sheldon produced “The Jesus Newspaper,” which included 100 percent accurate articles only. 

“Circulation soared due to the experience,” said Dr. Smith. “It provoked the newspaper business to reconsider some of its practices that are a part of the fact-checking mania at work today.” 

Dr. Smith’s book also looks at older examples of fake news and demonstrates “fake news” is not a new phenomenon. 

Dr. Smith was assisted by other Lee faculty and staff throughout the process. Morgan Waldrop, secretary for the Department of Communication Arts, designed the book interior and cover art. Dr. Megan Moe, professor of communication, proofread the cover for Smith. 

Dr. Smith has taught for more than three decades at state and private universities at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He was selected as the first university-wide award recipient for teaching excellence at Campbell University and has spoken at many academic and professional conferences, including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. 

He has worked as a reporter and editor, publishing nearly 3,000 articles in the popular press and working for papers such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and contributed freelance articles to periodicals such as The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today.  He has written eight books, including “7 Days to a Byline that Sells,” which was the number one Kindle book for a brief time in May.  

To purchase Dr. Smith’s newest book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Truth-Telling-Charles-Sheldons-Model-Accuracy-ebook/dp/B078L35XP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515762222&sr=8-1&keywords=fake+news%2C+truth-telling.



Superintendent Johnson Speaks At On' Point's Evening Of Hope Dinner

Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Department of Education, will be the keynote speaker for On Point's An Evening of Hope on Tuesday, March 13.  The doors of Exhibit Hall C, at the Chattanooga Convention Center, will open at 6 p.m. with festivities beginning at 6:30 p.m. Since 2008, Dr. Johnson has worked in Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools, a large ... (click for more)

Lee’s Dill Elected To Serve On NASFAA

Marian Dill, director of financial aid at Lee University, has been elected to serve on the National Board of Directors for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. She was elected to a two-year term as a representative-at-large to serve in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 program years.  “As a first-generation college graduate, I earned an early appreciation ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Identify, Charge Social Media Poster Who Warned Students Not To Go To School; 2nd Student Also Charged In Hoax

Police said they have identified the person who used social media to place warnings of a possible shooting at three local high schools.   Authorities said the teenage girl would be charged in Juvenile Court.   Police said additional hoax threats have been made, and a teen boy from another school has been charged in Juvenile Court.   Officials said, ... (click for more)

Hazelwood Ordered Confined To His Home Until Sentencing In Chattanooga On June 27; Defense Renews Objection To Release Of "Incendiary" Racist Tapes

A federal magistrate in Knoxville has ordered former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood confined to his home pending sentencing in Chattanooga on June 27 on three felony convictions. The confinement at his Knoxville home is to be on a 24-hour basis except for medical needs. Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton also ordered Hazelwood, who made over $27 million his ... (click for more)

MLK Boulevard TIF Is A Public Scam From People You Should be Able To Trust

TIFs (Tax Incremental Financing) were created to allow cities to do projects they cannot afford.  A TIF project also allows various private construction costs to be subsidized by sequestered  future  property taxes that normally would go into the general fund for running a city. It’s credit card spending with a new fancy name. Politicians love it because it sounds ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Want To Buy An AK-47?

On Sunday night I got an email from a reader who I enjoy that read, “How about, ‘Don’t sell assault weapons to 18-year-olds.’ The blood is on your hands (and all the other gun and violence idolaters)!” While I beg to disagree with him, this is a nation where – right now, this minute -- there are an estimated ONE TRILLION rounds of ammunition and over 300 million firearms. I can ... (click for more)