Media in Crisis: Blake Simpson’s TEDxNashville Talk on Navigating the Misinformation Era


Blake Simpson’s TEDxNashville talk delves into the alarming rise of misinformation in the media landscape and its impact on society. Reflecting on personal experiences, she highlights the shift from active participation to passive consumption of information. With the overwhelming volume and constant flow of online content, the talk explores how society has become passive, relying on autopilot. Simpson emphasizes the role of media in shaping narratives, contributing to polarization. Using examples like the coverage of COVID-19, she illustrates the challenges of discerning fact from fiction. The talk concludes with a call to revive critical thinking, move away from echo chambers, and actively engage with information for the sake of a robust democracy.

Discussion Points:


How has the shift from active participation to passive consumption impacted our ability to discern information?

  • Consider the influence of the constant flow of online information and its role in shaping our passive stance.

              Timestamp | 00:00 – 06:22


How does Simpson connect the societal shift to autopilot with the diminished attention span and its consequences?

  • Explore the relationship between information overload, passivity, and our society’s dwindling attention span.

              Timestamp | 06:23 – 07:51


What are the implications of media tailoring information to specific audiences, as discussed by Simpson?

  • Consider how tailored information may lead to echo chambers, contributing to the polarization of society.

              Timestamp | 07:52 – 09:14


Using Fox News and MSNBC as examples, what does the divergence in viewership reveal about media’s impact on public perception?

  • Ponder on the consequences when major news networks cater to specific demographics, potentially reinforcing existing biases.

              Timestamp | 09:15 – 10:13


What does Simpson’s interaction with her husband reveal about the role of authority figures in shaping public opinion?

  • Consider how reliance on authority figures, like Dr. Fauci, may sometimes lead to a lack of critical thinking and due diligence.

              Timestamp | 10:14 – 13:20


How does Simpson propose combating misinformation and reviving critical thinking in society?

  • Explore the talk’s call to action, emphasizing the importance of active participation, critical thinking, and discourse.

              Timestamp | 13:21 – 14:55