The internet is full of a lot of great information. Anything you want to look up, you can. Plus, if you have something to say you can reach virtually anyone at anytime. Now that news spreads faster than ever before, how can you tell what’s true and what’s false? How can you trust where the information is coming from?

The Berks County Community Foundation explored the topic of fake news in their 6th “Consider It” series. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Reading, the panel included several experts on digital news and media. A dinner and Q&A session was held after the presentations. Re-watch each panelist presentation with our YouTube Playlist here:


Derek Arnold, a Communication Instructor at Villanova, will examine conspiracy theories and their connection with social media.

Catherine Dunning Catanach, a Communication Instructor at Penn State Berks, will delve into “fake news” and how people can determine whether they are digesting valuable and critical news.

Michael E. Hartmann, a senior fellow and director of the Center for Strategic Giving at the Capital Research Center in Washington, D.C., will illustrate how philanthropic funding for magazines skews left. He will also address “aspiring for truth in the attention economy.”

Karin Mallett, WFMZ TV anchor and reporter, will host the event and explain how WFMZ chooses what to cover.

Bala Peterson, founder of Reading technology firm Cast & Crew and board chair of, will describe how social media algorithms “think,” and tell us what we can do about it.

Nina Sachdev, Communications Director at Media Impact Funders, will analyze journalism’s current state of crisis, the consequences for our democracy, and how philanthropy is stepping up to address these challenges.