How OtherWorld Uses Beacon Technology to Share Local News Stories

Residents of and visitors to Manchester, England, have a new way to learn about the city. OtherWorld is a service that uses beacon technology – a signal emitted when a user approaches a certain location – to send local news stories to people based on where they are within the city. No app is necessary to access the technology, and anyone in Manchester with a smartphone can use it. Opting in differs slightly between iOS and Android, but mostly just entail users activating Bluetooth and turning on location services for Google Chrome. Founder Stuart Goulden believes OtherWorld offers users a new way to engage with the world and hopes to expand to other cities in the future. The project has received funding from Google’s Digital Innovation Fund, which Goulden said, allows him to experiment with the project while working to develop a working business model. Rather than just accept ads, he
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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"

Students: Spend the summer working with Nieman Lab via the Google News Lab Fellowship

Hey students: Want to spend next summer working with Nieman Lab? I’m very happy to say that we will again be one of the host organizations for the Google News Lab Fellowships. You can apply here, and the deadline is January 15. Here’s Google’s description:
Google_Logo_Color_WideThe Google News Lab Fellowship offers students interested in journalism and technology the opportunity to spend the summer working at relevant organizations across the US to gain valuable experience and make lifelong contacts and friends. While the work of each host organization is unique, Fellows have opportunities to research and write stories, contribute to open source data programs, and create timely data to accurately frame public debates about issues in the US and the world. Fellows receive a stipend of $9,000 USD and a travel budget of $1,000 during the 10-week program, which runs from June-August. We’re looking for students who are passionate Continue reading "Students: Spend the summer working with Nieman Lab via the Google News Lab Fellowship"

Publishers’ Secret Weapon Against Facebook & Google: Brand Safety

By now, you know about the recent brand safety crises surrounding Facebook and YouTube, where brand ads were displayed alongside controversial or inappropriate content. There’s been no shortage of backlash. In fact, the anger among marketers was so great that YouTube lost five percent of its top advertisers before its most recent NewFronts course-correct instilled enough confidence in marketers to rethink abandoning the platform altogether. In the wake of this controversy, publishers are presented with a unique opportunity to capitalize on the increasing importance of brand safety and credibility. They’re now in prime position to attract advertisers over many powerful competitors. Publishers can lean on promises of brand safety to calm the nerves of buyers, and win business over the biggest social platforms. But what does marketing brand safety look like, exactly? What tactics and approaches can be emphasized? Here are the top ways that publishers can present themselves as
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Newsonomics: The New York Times’ Mark Thompson on regulating Facebook, global ambition, and when to stop the presses (forever)

Five years is a long time, especially in the media business. It was five years ago this week that Mark Thompson took on the top job at The New York Times Company. It was an enterprise still wobbling from the effects of the Great Recession, its new paywall only a year old. The Huffington Post was trumpeting that it had surpassed the Times in digital traffic — a recognition of Google’s market power and of Facebook’s emergence. The Times was a shrinking enterprise. It had shed revenues, profits, staff, and share price. It had also shed its previous CEO, Janet Robinson. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger’s pick of Thompson to replace her surprised many; despite having led the BBC’s ongoing transition to the increasingly digital world, Thompson had no publishing management experience. And he was a Brit, plucked out of London to head America’s flagship newspaper company. Half a decade later, the Continue reading "Newsonomics: The New York Times’ Mark Thompson on regulating Facebook, global ambition, and when to stop the presses (forever)"

Instagram is also a huge source of Russian propaganda on social media (Pinterest’s not safe either)

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.

“Instagram is a major distributor and re-distributor of IRA propaganda that’s at the very least on par with Twitter.” Jonathan Albright, the research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, previously, alarmingly showed how Russia-controlled Facebook accounts spread election-related propaganda in the U.S. — receiving hundreds of millions of shares. (Facebook then scrubbed the data that Albright had looked at.) Now Albright is back with new research showing the role that Instagram has played in spreading political propaganda over the last two years, via (now-closed, but the memes live on) Russia-controlled accounts with handles like @blacktivistt_ and @blackmattersus. He writes in a Medium post:

I argue here that Instagram is
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The scale of misinformation online is global. First Draft is pushing for more collaboration — and more research — as an antidote

We live in a world where a man from North Carolina was inspired to drive to a D.C. pizza shop with an assault-style rifle to investigate what he believed to be a child sex ring that ultimately linked back to Hillary Clinton, based on a conspiracy theory It’s a world where hoaxes that lead to real-life tragedies spread at an exponential pace from person to person on messaging apps like WhatsApp, and the platforms themselves by design can’t know the content of what’s being spread within these closed networks. It’s a world where, since coming into office, the president of the United States has thrown out the term “fake news” hundreds of times to refer to an array of non-Fox News news organizations and reports he doesn’t like. Current news coverage has been overwhelmingly focused on the intentionally-faked-news-articles aspect of the online news and information ecosystem. It’s been focused
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