Martin Baron’s message to Class of 2020: Facts and truth matter

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 20:10 in Psychology & Sociology

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron offered a ringing defense of facts and the truth on Thursday, telling Harvard seniors who tuned in to an online graduation program for the Class of 2020 that the current coronavirus pandemic has not only underscored the value of accurate, authoritative information but has shown that lies and misinformation can be deadly. “Only a few months ago, I would have settled for emphasizing that our democracy depends on facts and truth, and it surely does,” Baron said. “But now, as we can plainly see, it is more elemental than that. Facts and truth are matters of life and death. Misinformation, disinformation, delusions, and deceit can kill.” Baron, who presented his remarks during an hourlong online morning ceremony, said that an independent press — “imperfect though [it] may be” — is key to ensuring that facts are presented and truth defended in society. This is true particularly...

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