This year, California will join more than a dozen states in holding its primary elections on Super Tuesday, March 3, three months earlier than in 2016. The move gives the nation’s most populous state greater influence in the process of selecting candidates for president, but it also coincides with a challenging time when the notion of real versus fake communication is in the news almost daily.

Stanford communication faculty James Hamilton and Jon Krosnick reflect on both the historic and current role of journalism in our democratic society and the complexities facing voters as they navigate the plethora of information sources now available.

Hamilton is the Hearst Professor of Communication at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) and chair of the Department of Communication. His most recent book, Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism, chronicles the impact of accountability reporting in the United States. He recently co-launched the Stanford Journalism and Democracy Initiative, a data-driven effort to help journalists find stories at a lower cost and to support local newsrooms exploring public interest issues and fighting against misinformation.

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