The Future of News: Trust and Polarization

THURSDAY, JULY 7 from 8:20 a.m. – 10 a.m. ET

Social media has profoundly reshaped American media over the last decade, roiling newsrooms and provoking bitter public debates about the nature of journalism itself.

Semafor’s first pre-launch event will convene both leading actors and commentators in the contemporary battle over the nature of news, and ask whether and how news can operate in a hyper-polarized landscape.

As trust in the news industry sinks to a new low, we’ll ask what comes next, and what we can do to reinvigorate the news industry. This is the first in a series of forums on the future of news sponsored by the Knight Foundation.

Semafor’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith will conduct 1:1 interviews with Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz, Politico’s John Harris and Tucker Carlson of Fox News.  Carlson will be joining the program remotely.

Semafor’s executive editor Gina Chua will moderate a panel with journalist and author Wesley Lowery, WSJ ‘s former Washington executive editor Gerald Seib and host of Al Jazeera’s The Stream, Femi Oke.


  • Tucker Carlson, host, Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOX News)
  • John Harris, founding editor, Politico
  • Taylor Lorenz, technology columnist, Washington Post
  • Wesley Lowery, author and journalist
  • Femi Oke, host, The Stream (Al Jazeera English) 
  • Gerald Seib, former Washington executive editor, Wall Street Journal


  • Gina Chua, executive editor, Semafor
  • Ben Smith, co-founder and editor-in-chief, Semafor


  • Justin B. Smith, co-founder and CEO, Semafor

Sponsor Perspective

  • Jim Brady, VP/journalism, Knight Foundation