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Pennsylvania State University’s Venda Pudi calls local media ‘fake news’ Spotlight PA State College

The president of Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania’s largest and most influential institution of higher education, recently used a meeting with faculty to voice his dissatisfaction with local news coverage and refer to “fake news.” There was even

At a town hall meeting with the University of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Bendapudi took aim at a spotlight PA article on layoffs published by the Center Daily Times, among other partner newsrooms.

An employee in the audience told Vendapdi that employee morale was “extremely low” for several reasons.

“The Center Daily Times article was utterly unhelpful in talking about staff layoffs…,” an employee can be heard telling Vendapdi in a video recording. “Can you tell me about the morale of the staff?”

story – “Penn State University president says cuts will be more severe than expected as leaders finalize layoff plans.” — had already been criticized by the university’s strategic communications office.

“I need your help with the headlines. I don’t know what to do,” Vendapdi said. “There is no truth in that.”

She later lamented that she never thought she would use the term “fake news”.

We are not fake news. we are your neighbors I love local coffee, shopping at farmers markets, and hiking in Ross Rock. We want to see our community grow and thrive. We also spend countless hours ensuring our community coverage is fair, transparent, and factual.

The Center Daily Times has been Center County’s go-to news source for nearly 125 years, and Spotlight PA is now in its fourth year and has a national reputation as one of the nation’s leading local research and public service news outlets. is getting Last year, Spotlight PA launched its first regional bureau in the region.

Together we ask the tough questions because neighbors, taxpayers, business leaders, students, alumni, faculty and many others deserve answers. We provide tough but fair coverage of Penn State University and demand information and transparency from the institution so that those affected by its decisions can understand what is happening and why it is happening. And you can find out how they can get involved and have their opinions heard.

In particular, no institution is more powerful and influential than Pennsylvania State University. And not even our own newsroom. We aim to be honest, transparent and accountable, especially when we make mistakes.

However, in this case, Spotlight PA endorses that report. As a partner responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all information we publish, so does the CDT.

In response to the university’s request to change the Spotlight PA headline, Spotlight PA investigative reporter Wyatt Massey laid out the evidence to support its accuracy. That included a statement by university leaders, including Vendapdi, in the fall that the university had no plans for mass layoffs. However, our report indicates that nearly every department at Penn State has been directed to develop a layoff plan. The university also Publicly Mentioned Layoffs.

Headline disagreements are nothing new, and sensible people may come to different conclusions. But that’s very different from leveling accusations of “fake news.”

Local news, especially investigative and accountable journalism, is vital to the health of our communities, nations and democracies. The CDT and Spotlight PA are committed to reporting the truth fairly and accurately, and our work to stay in power will not be hindered.

Jessica McAllister is executive editor of the Center Daily Times. Center Daily Times has been based in Center County for more than a century, providing essential news and information to print and digital readers.visit www.CentreDaily.com or contact her jmcallister@centredaily.com.

Sarah Rafacz is the editor of the State College Regional Division for Spotlight PA. The Bureau produces articles on public service and accountability in Pennsylvania, local news for State College, and local government and local affairs in north-central Pennsylvania.Learn more about how to support that work at spotlightpa.org/statecollege/donate.

https://www.spotlightpa.org/statecollege/2023/04/penn-state-bendapudi-layoffs-fake-news-journalism/ Pennsylvania State University’s Venda Pudi calls local media ‘fake news’ Spotlight PA State College

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