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Forum Network

Free online lectures: Explore a world of ideas

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GBH News Forums

GBH news and the Forum Network come together to create a news-focused speaker series that takes a close look at important matters of the day. In a series of four events, audience members can connect to GBH News reporters and the experts known to our Forum Network partners. Together they will help audience members develop a deeper understanding of the issues and draw inspiration on how to become actively involved.

News Forums in 2020 focus on navigating a heavy year of political coverage in the lead-up to November elections. We will discuss how to spot fake news in an age of disinformation, learn more about how COVID-19 might impact the election season, talk about the polarization of voters, and unpack the Massachusetts ballot questions with GBH News reporters.

The News Forums are moderated by GBH News Senior Digital Managing Editor, Laura Colarusso.

GBH News Forums are part of GBH's Insider Series. Recordings of these discussions will be posted online for free to the public. To learn more about attending these events, see [GBH's Membership Options](https://www.wgbh.org/support/insider).

  • There are pages missing in the story of American history. The lives and experiences of enslaved people brought to North American shores were irregularly documented in random assortments of lists, logs, photos, rosters and sales receipts distributed across the country.

    In the GBH News podcast, What is Owed?, we learn about those who have been gathering the bits of history in an effort to piece together the bigger picture of slavery and enslaved peoples' lives in America.

    In this talk, in the Meeting House of the Museum of African American History in Boston , panelists discuss the missing legacy, the underfunding of Black historic museums, and the challenges of preserving what is known about early Black culture in America.

    GBH News reporter Saraya Wintersmith will talk about the podcast and moderate a discussion with MAAH's President and CEO, Dr. Noelle Trent, Kyera Singleton, the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters, and Ché Anderson, Assistant Vice Chancellor for City & Community Relations at University of Massachusetts Medical School. Together they visit the intersection of reparations and the needs of organizations striving to complete America's historic records.
    Partner:
    Museum of African American History
  • The next GBH News Forum. This time, we’re looking at inequities in government contracting and public spending revealed by the work of the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting in its ongoing series, “The Color of Public Money.” The project first revealed in January 2020 that minority-owned businesses – and Black-owned businesses, in particular – get a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars spent by Massachusetts state agencies on contracts for a vast array of goods and services. In fact, minority-owned firms saw their share of state dollars decline over the past two decades. As the reporting continued, minority business groups pressed Governor Charlie Baker to respond. By the end of 2020 he relented, announcing that he would elevate the state’s minority contracting office to an independent state agency. More reforms – and reporting – are in progress. GBH News Forums: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Experts.
    Partner:
    GBH Forum Network
  • In anticipation of the November 2020 elections, GBH News invited a panel of experts to share their understanding of partisanship and disunion in the country. Just how divided are we, and what is the psychology that drives these divisions? With a deeper understanding of the current situation and a larger historical context, perhaps we can make more choices that will help us bridge the divides that separate us. Specifically the panel examines the role of media and perception in polarization, the history of partisanship, and what we can do to move forward to bridge the divide.
    Partner:
    GBH Forum Network
  • Throughout election cycles poll results appear to move up and down rapidly. They can often be confusing, especially when the methodology is unclear. How can we better read and understand political polls? A panel of experts sits down with WGBH News Digital Editor Laura Colarusso to examine how these numbers are determined, in what ways campaigns react to polls, how journalists interpret the numbers and why we put so much stock in polling during elections. Guest speakers are Gary Langer, founder of Langer Research Associates and former director of polling at ABC News; Wilnelia Rivera, president at Rivera Consulting, Inc. and lead on Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley's 2016 campaign; and James Pindell, political reporter at The Boston Globe.
    Partner:
    GBH Forum Network
  • What will be the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our 2020 elections? The coronavirus has inflicted terrible damage on families around the globe. It has also affected many areas of our lives, from the economy to the way students are learning online. As the 2020 presidential election approaches, we must consider how the pandemic is impacting the election season. This panel discussion examines how campaigns are reaching voters while observing social distancing, explores the procedural changes states may make to the election process, and looks at ways to stay safe when voting. The discussion is moderated by WGBH News Senior Digital Managing Editor, Laura Colarusso. This News Forum is brought to you in partnership with the [Ford Hall Forum](https://forum-network.org/partner/ford-hall-forum/) , [Harvard Book Store](http://www.harvard.com/), [WGBH News](https://www.wgbh.org/news/) , and the [WGBH Insider Series](https://www.wgbh.org/support/insider).
    Partner:
    GBH Forum Network
  • WGBH News and the Forum Network begin 2020 with an original, news-focused speaker series that will provide a closer look at the presidential election season. In these quarterly events, audience members can connect to WGBH News reporters and experts who will help navigate a heavy year of political coverage. This first event focuses on how to spot “fake news” in an age of disinformation, with a panel of scholars who study media manipulation, digital resources, and the spread of misinformation. The discussion is moderated by WGBH News Senior Digital Managing Editor, Laura Colarusso. Photo: Ryan Arel/Forum Network
    Partner:
    GBH Forum Network