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#AskUCMerced Puts Campus Experts in the Hot Seat

March 15, 2017

This graphic promotes the new AskUCMerced Facebook Live series.
UC Merced faculty and staff are experts in a wide range of topics, many of which are of public interest. To showcase this, University Communications has launched #AskUCMerced, a Facebook Live series tackling topics of general interest in a question-and-answer format.

Two 20-minute episodes have been recorded thus far, with a third going live at 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 17.

This Friday’s broadcast, “Ferreting Out Fake News,” will feature Deputy University Librarian Donald Barclay and coincides with the library’s news literacy exhibit , which runs through April. Barclay has written on the subject for The Conversation and is looking forward to talking with viewers about how to critically examine information they encounter.

“I think it’ll be interesting to show what I, as a librarian, know about the importance of understanding and evaluating information in a world where it’s coming from every direction with varying levels of credibility,” he said.

Prior episodes have addressed trending issues such as the Supreme Court vacancy and arguing on social media. In the series debut on Feb. 6, Merritt Writing Program lecturers John Bultena and Dawn Trook discussed the nuances of argumentation in “Can You Really Win A Facebook Argument?”; the recorded version is still available on the UC Merced Facebook page and has 2,300 views so far.

“The point of the series is to expose the general public to UC Merced experts on trending topics in a way that easily accessible,” Online Engagement Director Tonya Kubo said. “Already, data shows that the Facebook audience craves this level of informal discourse.”

Kubo added that the project is a work in progress. The live aspect allows little margin for error; audio issues have hindered some broadcasts and featured experts need to be comfortable with flexibility. Members of the campus community interested in participating in the series may contact Kubo directly.