Hometown Alaska: How to flatten the disinformation curve

Graphic from World Health Organization in its public campaign against disinformation.

Here’s a new word for you: infodemic. The World Health Organization coined the term and centered a recent global conference around coming to terms with a glut of mis- and dis-information that is harming public health.

Click here for a full-size version of the poster. From the News Literacy Project.

While this is a global issue, and links below will take you to the WHO’s many universal resources, a local group has been fighting inaccurate information on Facebook pages. Called the Alaska Public Health Information Response Team, it enlists UAA strategic communications students to spot the bad information, and local health professionals to intervene with posts on Facebook that introduce accurate information.

The effort is more than two years old, and continues. On today’s Hometown Alaska, we’ll meet some of the participants. They’ll offer insight into the fight against mis- and dis-information, how it so easily spreads on social media, and how you can navigate those troubled waters yourself, like how do you handle disinformation within your own family and circle of friends?

We’ll also hear from Steve Johnson, coach of the UAA debate team, on how disinformation is threatening democracy. He shares the best book he’s read on the topic, “The Constitution of Knowledge: A defense of truth” by Jonathan Rauch. This portion of the program was pre-recorded.

So, join us with your questions and comments by dialing 550-8433 during the show, Monday April 25, 10 am-11 am.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Dr. Jennifer Meyer, assistant professor in the College of Health, UAA
  • Dr. Joy Mapaye, professor in Journalism and Public Communications, UAA
  • Dr. Tom Hennessy, epidemiologist, Affiliate Faculty, College of Health, UAA
  • Alexandra Edwards, research professional and project manager, Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, UAA
  • Steve Johnson, UAA debate coach



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (E-mails may be read on air).
  • Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
  • LIVE: Monday, April 25, 2022 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, April 25, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

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