In Turkey, use of Facebook and Twitter for news is falling, and WhatsApp is rising

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism released a Turkey-specific supplement to its annual Digital News Report. The supplement, by Servet Yanatma, offers a look at what it’s like to be a media consumer in a highly polarized environment, where roughly the same percentage of people trust the news overall (40 percent) and distrust it overall (38 percent). In the U.S., meanwhile, Reuters found that 38 percent of people trust the news overall — but Turkey’s national situation is currently quite different, as outlined in the report:
Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a failed coup in July 2016, in which 248 people were killed and hundreds injured, and the political turmoil has had a significant effect on the freedom and independence of the Turkish media. Turkish authorities have shut down over 160 media outlets, including 56 newspapers, 5 news agencies, 27 TV channels,
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“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war

Coming soon: The Disinformation Action Lab. Part of a group of Knight grants announced last week: The Data & Society Research Institute is getting $250,000 to launch the Disinformation Action Lab, which will “use research to explore issues such as: how fake news narratives propagate; how to detect coordinated social media campaigns; and how to limit adversaries who are deliberately spreading misinformation. To understand where online manipulation is headed, it will analyze the technology and tactics being used by players at the international and domestic level.” It continues the work of Data & Society’s Media Manipulation initiative (one of whose reports I covered here). The details of the Disinformation Action Lab — including who will be hired to lead it — are still being worked out, said Sam Hinds García, Data & Society’s director of communications. The publication of the May report “opened the door for Continue reading "“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war"

Here are three tools that help digital journalists save their work in case a site shuts down

The abrupt shutdown of the Gothamist and DNAinfo local news networks earlier this month was a stark reminder to digital journalists who want archives of their stuff: Back it up! Back it up! It isn’t just that news apps and digital interactives won’t last forever; as my colleague Shan Wang wrote in September in a look at broader archiving efforts, “so many pioneering works of digital journalism no longer exist online, or exist only as a shadow of their former selves.” The problem is also that digital journalists who will someday be looking for new jobs will probably need to share samples of their previous work with prospective employers, and that’s tough to do if the site you were working for is gone. Even if you’re not job-hunting, you may want evidence, years down the line, that you, you know — produced something. Luckily for journalists who haven’t had Continue reading "Here are three tools that help digital journalists save their work in case a site shuts down"

Knight shares what it’s learned over 10 years of the Knight News Challenge (and announces eight new winners)

Ten years, 190 projects, and $49 million later, the Knight Foundation has released a report about what it’s learned over a decade of funding the Knight News Challenge. It’s also giving eight previous award winners a combined $4.5 million in new funding for new projects. (Disclosure: Nieman Lab also receives funding from Knight.) Among the projects receiving new funding: Code2040 gets the bulk of the funding, $3 million, to expand its program to more people of color working in tech. Columbia Journalism School’s “Workbench,” a collaborative platform that lets reporters “produce sophisticated data journalism without coding,” is receiving $250,000. The Data & Society Research Institute gets $250,000 to launch the Disinformation Action Lab, “a project to study and analyze propaganda and disinformation threats and develop solutions to address them.” The full list of winners is below. Knight also commissioned Arabella Advisors to prepare a report on how Continue reading "Knight shares what it’s learned over 10 years of the Knight News Challenge (and announces eight new winners)"

The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news

Will readers trust the news more if they have more information about who’s behind it? It’s worth a try. Thursday marks the launch of The Trust Project, an initiative three years in the making (but feeling oh-so-relevant right about now) that brings together news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Economist, and the Globe and Mail, as well as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Bing, in a commitment to “provide clarity on the [news organizations’] ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.” The project will standardize this method of increased clarity so that news organizations, large and small, around the world can use it, and so that the algorithms of the tech giants can find and incorporate it. “The public can look at this and say, ‘okay, I know more about what’s behind this organization’,” said Sally Lehrman, senior director of Continue reading "The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news"

Kickstarter’s new product, Drip, lets people charge subscriptions for ongoing projects

National Observer is no stranger to successful crowdfunding campaigns. The Canadian investigative news outlet launched its first Kickstarter in 2014, raising 53,040 Canadian dollars (USD $41,615) from 741 backers to produce 140 stories on the conflicts associated with Canada’s tar sands. That was followed by a 2015 campaign that raised CA $80,939 from 574 backers to report on climate change solutions (surpassing a goal of CA $50,000) and a successful 2016 campaign that raised CA $70,863 from 784 backers. The 2015 project was promoted by Kickstarter as one of “five great journalism projects,” said CEO and editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood. “It was a major marketing tool. As well as raising funds, we were also getting our brand out and reaching a lot of new people.” Kickstarter campaigns are built around specific, isolated projects and aren’t meant to sustain creators on an ongoing basis — until now. On Wednesday, Kickstarter Continue reading "Kickstarter’s new product, Drip, lets people charge subscriptions for ongoing projects"

A new feature in The Washington Post’s Opinion section will alert readers to opposite viewpoints (with the help of AI)

What’s the role of an opinion section in a newspaper today? The Washington Post argues that its role is to expose readers to new viewpoints. As such, the paper has launched a new online feature, Counterpoint, that “surfaces an Opinions article with a different perspective than what a user is currently reading.” Other news outlets are attempting to expose their readers to viewpoints they may not agree with — there’s Anna Dubenko’s “Right and Left” column in The New York Times, and Jason Wilson’s “Burst Your Bubble” column in The Guardian. But those columns mainly present roundups of content found on other sites. The Post’s effort, meanwhile, keeps readers within its own site, and uses AI rather than human curation to expose opposite viewpoints. For example, on Wednesday the Post ran an editorial by Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, and Bruce Reed, President Bill Clinton’s assistant
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