Harvard librarians probably didn’t guess the blowback they were in for when they published this innocent online guide to “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda”. The guide, which includes otherwise useful/basic tips like “using library databases is a near-foolproof way to find credible information”, also links to Merrimack College professor Melissa Zimdars’ sprawling and much-debated list of “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources,” which currently includes 921 sites tagged in a number of categories including “fake,” “satire,” “conspiracy,” “unreliable,” and “political.” Sites like Fusion, National Review, and The Onion are listed alongside actual fake news sites like denverguardian.com and David Duke’s website. (Also on the list: IJR, the only site that got Continue reading "Harvard Library gets slammed for its earnest fake news guide: Updates from the fake news world"
In 2016, Colombian journalists faced the challenge of telling one of the most important stories in the country’s history: after more than 50 years, the Colombian government and the FARC reached a peace agreement to end the decades-long conflict that had left more than eight million victims. It was a critical moment for news organizations, which had to find ways to explain clearly a process tangled with political interests that would determine the future of millions of people who were calling for truth, justice, and reparations. News media, however, had another challenge: to keep up with various conversations circulating on social media, especially via WhatsApp, where all kinds of viral stories about the negotiations had spread. Users shared chain messages (“cadenas”) without an understanding of whether the news they shared was accurate — a critical issue, since those messages could’ve swayed votes in the country’s referendum on a peace deal
Continue reading "To slow the spread of false stories on WhatsApp, this Colombian news site is enlisting its own readers"
Across Europe, the migration story is still unfolding. Starting this month, four European news organizations — in Britain, France, Germany, and Spain — are partnering on an 18-month reporting project tracking individuals and families as they begin new lives in new home countries, as well as the communities that welcome them, amidst a rise of populist resentment. “A good journalist knows how to tell stories happening at a given time. But this story is evolving in a way none of us can predict,” said Serge Michel, reporter-at-large for the French newspaper Le Monde and editor of Le Monde Afrique, the paper’s edition covering Francophone Africa. “So if you follow a family and they integrate well into the city, it’s one story. If there are problems, it’s another story. We don’t know what will happen.” Le Monde is one of the four news organizations in The New Arrivals
Continue reading "As refugees resettle across Europe, four news organizations partner to tell the still-unfolding stories of integration"
Last summer, a very hungry Gannett bought The Record, New Jersey’s second largest daily newspaper, as well as dozens of other community papers and magazines from the family-owned North Jersey Media Group. Last fall, it announced it would be cutting around half of North Jersey Media Group’s 426 jobs, letting go around 130 editorial staffers. Then this past January, it announced another 141 cuts. The impact these layoffs have on the local news ecosystem of New Jersey isn’t hard to imagine. Other news organizations serving New Jersey have also relentlessly cut staff. The New York Times, which serves parts of New Jersey, doesn’t have a beat reporter covering the state (“Look, I wish we had the resources to have what we used to have in New Jersey and Connecticut, but the reality is that we don’t,” executive editor Dean Baquet told the Times’s public editor in January.) How bad
Continue reading "Hundreds of local reporters in New Jersey were laid off this past year. What does that mean for the state?"
The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.
Jess Mador has driven the revamped 1980s-era bread truck all over Knoxville and other towns in eastern Tennessee. The truck has the Knoxville skyline painted on its side along with TRUCKBEAT in bold red letters. Inside, there’s a sound booth. The truck was the central component of a project launched by Mador along with WUOT, the public radio station in Knoxville, to get out into the community and reach new listeners. They travelled to street festivals, community health fairs, and other local events to interact with people throughout the region. “There’s something disarming about the truck; it’s a physical, tangible engagement tool…that’s eye-catching and fun, which was part of the idea behind its design,” Mador said recently. “We were able to build buzz and excitement for TruckBeat, and people seemed to want to be part of what we were doing in a different way than with a conventional journalism project
Continue reading "“My goal in public media”: How 16 producers worked to create more community-focused journalism"
President Trump on Thursday released his administration’s first budget blueprint, which among other cuts proposes eliminating all federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB has an annual budget of $445 million that it uses to support PBS, NPR, and local public broadcasters across the United States, and cuts to it and other agencies are being proposed to offset, among other things, Trump’s planned $54 billion increase in defense spending. (The Washington Post reported that the requested boost in Pentagon funding would fund CPB at its current levels for the next 121 years.) “Viewers and listeners appreciate that public media is non-commercial and available for free to all Americans,” CPB president and CEO Patricia Harrison said in a statement Thursday. “We will work with the new Administration and Congress in raising awareness that elimination of federal funding to CPB begins the collapse of the public media system itself Continue reading "This is what could happen if Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate funding for public broadcasting is enacted"
David Cay Johnston, the reporter that Donald Trump says “nobody has ever heard of,” suddenly came to a lot of people’s attention Tuesday, when he appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show to talk about Donald Trump’s 2005 Form 1040 tax returns, which had been leaked to him by someone with access. (Johnston hinted broadly that Trump himself might be a candidate for its origin.) Johnston, a veteran reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his reporting on loopholes in the U.S. tax code, wasn’t exactly laboring in obscurity before then, but his appearance certainly did help raise the raise the profile for DCReport, the small three-month-old nonprofit news site where he first published the Trump tax story — and which immediately crashed thanks to the flood of traffic it drew. While the Trump story was a big early win for the site, it’s an
Continue reading "With DCReport, David Cay Johnston — the man with Trump’s 1040 — wants to give readers a way to act on the stories they read"