Rush to Judgment: Finding the Truth In a Viral World

Rush to Judgment: Finding the Truth In a Viral World
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Rush to Judgment is a examination of the documentary film of the same name.  The subject is the brief encounter at the Lincoln Memorial that resulted in a viral video and social media mayhem.  It brought death threats and hate directed at teenagers from Covington Catholic High School who came face-to-face with adult protesters.  What can journalists and media consumers learn from this case and what does it tell us about the current divide in American politics? The lecture features director Steve Oldfield and producer Ryan Anderson examining these and other important issues concerning today’s viral media mashing up with the news media.


Director Steve Oldfield and Producer Ryan Anderson will engage their audience with a multi-media experience that includes never-before-seen interviews and footage, along with sharing expert analysis from leaders in Political Journalism.
Steve and Ryan will also share their motivations for creating this documentary and what they uncovered and learned along the way.
They hope to create a dialogue that leaves their audience with a better understanding of the event and coverage that created a viral firestorm. They believe the discussion will help students to become better content creators and consumers, while fostering a more inclusive and less judgmental discourse online.

These award-winning documentary filmmakers and educators are committed to helping students, consumers, journalists, and content producers learn from the encounter at the Lincoln Memorial and the social media posts and news stories that came from the viral video. Their goal is to help prevent future cases of media mayhem & hate.


Steve Oldfield also directed the award-winning documentaries Lines of Sight and Covington at 200: Points of View.   He graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and the Institute on Political Journalism. Steve is currently an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Communication at Thomas More University.


Ryan Anderson brings his extensive knowledge of blogging, political commentary and independent media to Rush to Judgment.  He also has worked in cable television, producing and hosting an interview program aimed at teenagers and young adults.



Through skillful interviews and expanded film clips, Steve Oldfield not only reveals the true story of what happened to Nick Sandmann and his friends at the Lincoln Memorial that day, but develops the story suspensefully in the film, guiding us through the growing realization that journalists and community leaders got it wrong. Rush to Judgment is a powerful indictment of social media, instant journalism and the rush to grab a scoop.
Jo Ann S. Founding Director, Anthem Film Festival

Category : Election/politics &Film and Director &Media and History &Politics &Speakers &Technology/Social Media

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