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Pew Research Center director to discuss changing landscape of media

Jan 30, 2017

As part of Flagler College’s Forum on Government and Public Policy lecture series, Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center will discuss the organization’s latest findings on the state of politics and democratic institutions in the United States. He will also provide updates on the changing news media ecosystem enabled by the internet, mobile connectivity and social media. His talk will take place Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in Lewis Auditorium.

Rainie is the director of Internet, Science and Technology at the center, a non-partisan “fact tank” that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. During his talk, titled “The New Age of Politics and Media,” he will describe how the campaign and early days of the Trump administration have shown that major institutions like political parties and the news media have been challenged and changed by a fractured news environment, shifting trust in major institutions and an increasingly polarized political landscape.

Rainie will also draw from his book, “Networked: The new social operating system,” in describing how unprecedented technology adoption has changed the way people engage in social and political activities. 

“People’s and groups’ capacity to create and share information is unparalleled,” he said. “The rapidity and breadth of change in science and technology has never occurred before. We have not ever seen the kinds of disruptions in basic institutions that we are witnessing now. Organizations that arose in the Industrial Era – big government bureaucracies, big corporations, big media companies, big labor unions – are all undergoing significant change.”

Rainie has issued more than 600 reports based on the center’s surveys that examine people’s online activities and the Internet’s role in their lives. He also directs Pew’s new initiative on the intersection of science and society. In 2014, the American Sociological Association gave him its award for “excellence in the reporting on social issues.” In addition to co-authoring “Networked: The new social operating system” with sociologist Barry Wellman, Rainie is the co-author of five books on the future of the Internet, based on Pew surveys about the subject. Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, he was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

The Pew Research Center conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research, now including analysis of “big data.” The Center does not take policy or partisan positions.

For more than 30 years, the Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy has invited nationally recognized journalists and commentators to St. Augustine to discuss issues of importance in regional, state and federal government. All Forums take place in Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St., at 7 p.m. Forums are free and open to the public, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a person with a disability and need reasonable accommodations, please contact Lynn Francisco at 904-819-6460. Sign Language Interpreters are available upon request with a minimum of three days’ notice.
Call (904) 826-8572 or visit here: for more information.

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