CEJ Hosts Jim R. LeMay for Talks on State of Journalism and Disinformation

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On May 31, the Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) welcomed guest speaker Jim R. LeMay, senior consultant for Frank N. Magid and Associates (FNMA) and former deputy managing editor at CNN. 

The two events, namely the discussion and the lecture sessions delivered by LeMay, focused on the “State of Journalism Today: Disinformation and Other Challenges” and were specifically targeted for the invited working journalists and experts engaged in the field, as well as AUA students. 

Drawing on his decade-long experience as former deputy managing editor at CNN and current position as senior consultant for FNMA, LeMay shared with the attendees the common tactics used to spread disinformation, highlighting such strategies as impersonation, media manipulation, dissemination networks, polarization, censorship accusations, etc. 

LeMay then engaged the public in a discussion on how to most effectively vet the information through clear communication and careful verification of digital data, taking advantage of the available fact-checking, media-monitoring tools, and cutting-edge technology, in general. 

During both sessions, the students and journalists took some time to actively discuss examples of disinformation and misleading content posted on various types of social media. 

LeMay wrapped up the sessions with the key takeaways, offered brief guidelines on how to protect oneself and one’s story, and shared his insight into the complex issue of building an own brand.

LeMay advises and consults broadcast executives and journalists around the world. His clients include Cox Media Group, Meredith Corporation, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the NBC O&O group. In addition, he works with businesses and media platforms in emerging countries at the invitation of the U.S. State Department. He previously served as deputy managing editor at CNN for ten years and managed the CNN Newsource D.C. Bureau. His work covered every major national and international story during that time.

The American University of Armenia, in partnership with Washington State University, signed a memorandum of understanding in 2023 to establish a Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) and create a new master’s program in multiplatform journalism. The $1.3 million, four-year university partnership initiative is funded by the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan to support Armenia’s media sector. CEJ will serve as a hub for journalism education and leadership in research, training, best practices, and collaboration with leading experts and policy makers that advances knowledge of how quality journalism can serve as a bulwark against misinformation and improve networking within Armenia’s journalism ecosystem. The Center will also offer professional development programs serving the wider media community.