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Emerging Leaders Summit Panel Announcement: Fake News & You

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According to a 2019 study by Deloitte, young voters--particularly millennials--have significantly less trust in the news and media. In fact, a whopping 43% said the mass media is having a negative impact on the world and 27% have zero trust in the media as sources of reliable and accurate information.

Historically, the media has played an essential role in democracy and society and has often been referred to as the fourth branch of government or the fourth estate. However, in an era of “fake news,” alternative facts and disinformation – how can you know what media to trust?

On January 6, the Utah Emerging Leaders Summit will go in-depth as we explore this issue during the Fake News & You: Media in the Digital Age panel. This breakout session--featuring some of Utah’s top young reporters--will address the challenges facing how we consume media, how we distinguish facts from alternative facts, and how the media can build trust in an age of disinformation. How do accusations of fake news impact trust in media? How do Millennials and Gen-Z consume their news, is it podcasts or Twitter? Why is trust in the media important?

Speakers joining us during this session are Deseret News reporter Katie McKellar, KUER reporter Nicole Nixon, and Salt Lake Tribune reporter Taylor Stevens. Gavin Mathis, vice president of Method Communications, will moderate the panel. Tickets to our inaugural conference on Jan. 6 are still available.

Secure your seat today and view additional speakers at Event attendees are encouraged to begin a dialogue around the topic prior to the Summit by submitting questions to

Meet the Panelists

Katie McKellar: Katie McKellar covers local politics and community issues on city, county and state levels for Deseret News. A Utah native, McKellar grew up in Sandy and studied journalism at Dixie State University in St. George before she graduated in 2014. In her free time, McKellar enjoys horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking with her dog, skiing and — most of all — taking care of her horses and goats at her home in Tooele County.

Nicole Nixon: Nicole Nixon covers politics and government for KUER, Utah’s largest public radio station. She also hosts the podcast 45 Days, which provides weekly recaps and analysis during the Utah legislative session.

Taylor Stevens: Taylor covers Utah politics and government for The Tribune, where she has worked since January 2017. A Salt Lake native and Westminster College alumna, Taylor first joined The Tribune team as an intern on a single day’s notice.

Moderator Gavin Mathis: Gavin Mathis is a Vice President at Method Communications, Salt Lake City's leading public relations agency, where he helps a number of Utah's tech companies and the Governor's Office of Economic Development garner national media attention. He got his start in government and public relations working for Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) on the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C. He graduated with a master's degree in political management from The George Washington University and earned bachelor's degrees in communication (journalism) and political science from Washington State University.