R. David Lankes ’92, G’99, associate professor and director of the library and information science program at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool,) was mentioned in an article by the Columbia Journal Review entitled “Trust Falls.”

The article discussed journalism’s role on the Internet and emphasized the shift in power from the dominant media to the readers. In today’s society readers no longer have to depend on one media outlet, the Internet offers readers a multitude of media options. The article showcased an editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s who investigated the origins of a vulgar comment posted on its blog. The editor called the local school where the post came from and reported the vulgar comment, leading the employee who posted the comment to resign. Readers jumped at the editor’s action and left hundreds of comments on the lack of truth and credibility the editor showed, according to the article.

Lankes’ paper, “Credibility on the internet: shifting from authority to reliability,” was referenced in the article to demonstrate the difference between authoritarianism and authoritativeness. In his paper, Lankes says authoritarianism does not work on the Internet because it infers that readers have no other options and cannot draw their own conclusions based on their own research.

“There are simply more choices in whom to trust, and market forces have not come into play to limit choices. While this is true for virtually all media venues to some degree, the scale of choice on the internet make the internet particularly affected by shifts in authority,” Lankes was quoted as writing.

Lankes has become a prominent voice in the field of librarianship. He delivered the keynote address on the future of librarianship at the Charleston Conference in November 2009. He has also been appointed a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada and the Harvard School of EducationLankes earned a B.F.A. in Multimedia Design, an M.S. in Telecommunications, and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University.