April 05, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount alumni Brian Mahar, Walden mayor and director of
communications for Sen. William J. Larkin, Jr. (center), said that
one must be careful and critical when reading news
What news sources can be trusted? How does one start a
conversation about politics? Why is it important to share different
These were just a few of the topics discussed at the recent “The
Mount Speaks Out: Politics” panel at Mount Saint Mary College.
The panel consisted of Jonathan Jacobson, Orange County
Democratic committee person and former party chair; Mount alumni
Brian Mahar, Walden mayor and director of communications for Sen.
William J. Larkin, Jr.; and Regina Pappalardo, assistant professor
of communications at the Mount.
Pappalardo urged students to be cautious and informed news
“Just because someone is on a news show doesn’t mean that person
has followed journalistic principles and ethics to present that
information,” she said. “And just because a website looks
legitimate does not mean it can be trusted. Check your sources
before you post an article.”
Mahar agreed. He added that even if an article is shared by a
family member or other trusted source, fact checking is still the
responsibility of the reader.
“Just because an article has millions of hits does not mean it’s
accurate or true,” he said.
Although taking about politics can sometimes be uncomfortable,
it can help participants to form new ideas and find better
solutions to problems, said Jacobson.
“There’s a difference between being negative and having a
contrasting message,” he explained, noting that in a conversation
about politics, it’s ok for the participants to have differing
views and ideas. But one should always keep the discussion about
the issues – not personal attacks.
The discussion was the second in the three part “The Mount
Speaks Out” diversity roundtable series, which focuses on
hard-hitting issues facing today’s college students. The third,
scheduled for later this month, will examine race as it relates to
the modern college student. In the first talk, held in February,
Mount students and staff discussed their college experience as
members of the LGBTQA+ community, recounting their personal
challenges and successes.