On Nov. 13, I was one of three panelists in Wisconsin who met via Zoom with about a dozen journalists and public officials from various countries in Latin America. The purpose of this 90-minute meeting, arranged by the International Institute of Wisconsin in cooperation with Graduate School USA and the U.S. State Department, was to examine “the current threat posed by disinformation and deceptive news” and “explore ways to verify reliable sources of information and counter misinformation,” among other related goals.

This exchange, like others I’ve participated in about once a year over the last decade, was part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The meetings, I’m told, are not recorded to protect the “privacy and safety of the visitors,” whom I am also not identifying here.