Automated, live fact-checks during the State of the Union? The Tech & Check Cooperative’s first beta test hopes to pull it off

Instead of watching the upcoming State of the Union address with snide fact-checks from users on Twitter or other social media in the background, viewers will be able to see instantaneous fact-checking appear on their device screen as soon as President Trump utters a claim — or at least that’s the dream for Bill Adair’s team at Duke University’s Reporters’ Lab. Adair, the fact-checking maven who founded PolitiFact and is now director of the Reporters’ Lab, is spearheading the nascent Tech & Check Cooperative to bundle automation with a number of initiatives already launched in the fact-checking/computer science sphere. The two-year project got underway in the fall and is funded with a total of $1.2 million from the Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project, and the Craig Newmark Foundation. It draws on automation and fact-checking work from researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, the Internet Archive, MIT Continue reading "Automated, live fact-checks during the State of the Union? The Tech & Check Cooperative’s first beta test hopes to pull it off"

In India, the BBC wants to partner with local companies to develop new ways to personalize content

When he’s evaluating the BBC’s ongoing expansion efforts into Asia and Africa, BBC digital development editor Dmitry Shishkin finds himself returning to one question: “Is our content good enough for someone to skip lunch for?” The line emerged after a conversation he had with a BBC staffer in Nairobi, Kenya, who told him that people there regularly skip meals in an effort to save money to spend on Internet data. For Shishkin, the concern gets at the heart of one of the central questions for the BBC World Service as it ramps up expansion into Africa and southern Asia: How can the BBC create content for these markets while being conscious of the on-the-ground realities of people’s lives there, particularly those that relate to money, Internet access, language, and cultural differences? To ensure that the BBC gets things right in India, where its first sites went live in October, Continue reading "In India, the BBC wants to partner with local companies to develop new ways to personalize content"

Cross-examining the network: The year in digital and social media research

Editor’s note: There’s a lot of interesting academic research going on in digital media — but who has time to sift through all those journals and papers? Our friends at Journalist’s Resource, that’s who. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and they spend their time examining the new academic literature in media, social science, and other fields, summarizing the high points and giving you a point of entry. Denise-Marie Ordway, JR’s managing editor, has picked out some of the top studies in digital media and journalism in 2017. She took over this task from John Wihbey, JR’s former managing editor, who summed up the top papers for us for several years. (You can check out his roundups from 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.)

There’s never a shortage of fascinating scholarship in Continue reading "Cross-examining the network: The year in digital and social media research"

Apple Podcast Analytics is finally live (and with it, the ability to see how many people are skipping ads)

Editor’s note: Hot Pod is a weekly newsletter on the podcasting industry written by Nick Quah; we happily share it with Nieman Lab readers each Tuesday.

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 145, published January 2, 2018. Happy New Year everybody! Let’s, uh, see where this one goes. Digits to start the year. As always, we begin with the question: is the industry growing, and if so, how? Here are two numbers I’m using to keep track:

The trust problem isn’t new

In 2018, we’ll commit to working hard to earn the trust of our audiences every single day — I hope, anyway. Here’s what else I hope: that in doing so, we’ll commit to working just as hard to avoid centering a few loud voices at the expense of others. This year, we’ve frequently seen our leaders, from the president on down, discourage trust in news media. Recent surveys suggest it’s had an impact. But the reality is that many people — take African Americans and Muslims, as examples — have long had reason to be skeptical of our industry’s ability and, frankly, desire to reflect their lives and their communities fairly, with accuracy and nuance. And they’ve been telling us that. If we lose sight of them in our panic over where we find ourselves today, we risk flattening critical differences between the reasons for distrust, and correspondingly, Continue reading "The trust problem isn’t new"