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Join TSPR for a weekly conversation about media issues. News Director Rich Egger and expert panelists discuss what’s in the news about the news business.

Spreading lies comes with a cost

As NPR and other news outlets reported, a Texas jury decided that conspiracy theory purveyor Alex Jones will pay one family $45.2 million in punitive damages after spreading lies about the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

NPR reported that Jones spent years telling his audience that one of the worst school shootings in American history was a hoax.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis brought the charges against Jones. They told the court how Jones and his InfoWars broadcast made their lives a "living hell" after Jesse, their 6-year-old son, was gunned down in the attack.

Jones had millions of viewers, some of whom stalked and harassed Heslin and Lewis, even making death threats.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, a former teacher in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.