Major internet companies might want to push their own point of view, but can they also take care of misinformation please and thank you

So we all heard Facebook’s view on the role that major companies play in deciding who gets what news. (Really, no need to say it twice.) But what does your average Mark or Campbell think? According to a new survey by the Knight Foundation and Gallup, American adults feel negatively about major Internet companies tailoring information to them individually, acting as content arbitrators that enhances bias, and not being transparent about their methods. (Note: Knight has provided support to Nieman Lab in the past.) Those major internet companies in this context are Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter (surprise). Of the 1,203 U.S. adults interviewed earlier this summer, most got their news from Google (53 percent daily/a few times a week) or Facebook (51 percent), with only 23 percent coming from Yahoo and 19 percent from Twitter. The survey’s authors kindly broke out the percentages we’ll highlight
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Sorry to burst the bubble, but showing readers community-rated trust metrics doesn’t seem to help them trust the media more

It takes a village for some things, but it doesn’t necessarily take a village-wide rating of a news article to increase a reader’s trust in the same piece. Using the same setup as a previous study that found the identification of the news organization in a link doesn’t increase trust either, researchers with Gallup and the Knight Foundation tested how users responded to average trust ratings for various news outlets. Those ratings were determined by a) the user personally, b) the community of users in the study, c) “people like you” based on demographics, and/or d) any two of the above. And of course, a control group. (Disclosure: Nieman Lab has received funding from Knight in the past.) News flash: It didn’t help. “Opinion-based metrics that convey the general impressions of the public seem to drive confidence downward,” the researchers concluded. But they also noted “it seems that
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When a link to a news story comes shows the source of the story, some people end up trusting it less

People don’t always remember the precise source of their news. Pew Research found in a recent study that Americans could come up with a publisher behind a news story they’d clicked on only 56 percent of the time. (And that’s assuming they were remembering the source correctly, which the study had no way to check.) But people actually seem to trust news articles they click into less when the stories come labeled with the news outlet that published it. That’s especially true with certain outlets, including Vox, Fox News, and Breitbart News. (As my colleague Laura Hazard Owen asked in her coverage of a previous Knight study analyzing people’s perceptions of bias, do people know what Vox does? Are they confusing it with Fox? Are they familiar with Breitbart News?) That’s the finding from more than 3,000 U.S. adults who looked at and rated the trustworthiness (on
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Newsonomics: What’s next for the L.A. Times, and a few other questions of the moment for the news business

How do we respond to tragedy? That question is never far from the work of journalists, and Friday’s Annapolis Capital Gazette assault only made it more intimate, with journalists becoming one with the story they’ve covered time and again. Numerous journalists responded to the murder of five of their own by restating the truths of local journalism. The humorist Dave Barry (“Sorry, I’m not feeling funny today — my heart aches for slain journalists“) captured it as well as anyone:
There are over 1,000 daily newspapers in the United States, most of them covering smaller markets, like Annapolis or West Chester. The people working for these newspapers aren’t seeking fame, and they aren’t pushing political agendas. They’re covering the communities they live in — the city councils, the police and fire departments, the courts, the school boards, the Continue reading "Newsonomics: What’s next for the L.A. Times, and a few other questions of the moment for the news business"

A look at how foundations are helping the journalism industry stand up straight

Foundations across the U.S. are helping journalists watchdog the powerful — but who’s watching the foundations? The state of the journalism industry might be much more tattered right now if not for philanthropic dollars helping to sustain national and local news outlets like ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Voice of San Diego, Texas Tribune, and others. Nonprofit news organizations have made so much progress in the past decade that now there’s even an playbook for how to make your own. But where is this money coming from, who is it going to, and how are these dollars reshaping journalism? (A piece by Julie Reynolds pointed out that the Knight Foundation has, in the past, invested in Alden Global Capital, the parent company of the “strip-mining” Digital First Media.) A study co-published by the Shorenstein Center and Northeastern University (and funded by a couple of foundations
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How can we restore trust in news? Here are 9 takeaways from Knight-supported research

Editor’s note: As part of its effort to explore the root causes of the current crisis in trust in the media, the Knight Foundation is commissioning a continuing series of white papers from academics and experts. Here’s what they’ve learned so far. (Disclosure: Knight has also been a funder of Nieman Lab.)

Institutional trust is down across the board in American society (with a few notable exceptions, such as the military). But trust in the media is particularly troubling, plummeting from 72 percent in 1976 to 32 percent in 2017. There are many reasons for this decline in trust, writes Yuval Levin, but one

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What is innovation in local TV news? Andrew Heyward’s new mission is to find out

News flash: A lot of people still watch — and trust — the local TV news. TV is still the No. 1 source of news for Americans, ahead of the entire Internet. And of those TV watchers, nearly 3 in 4 are regular local TV news watchers. But the trendlines are moving in the wrong direction. In 2016, TV had a 19 percentage point lead over online as a frequent source of news for Americans (57 percent to 38 percent). A year later, that lead had been cut to 7 percentage points (50 percent to 43 percent). Cord-cutters and cord-nevers have moved from edge cases to mainstream; young people ages 18 to 24 have cut their TV viewing by abotu eight hours a week just in the past six years. It’s time for an update. Resources for innovation have, generally speaking, flowed more to local newspapers and digital-native publishers Continue reading "What is innovation in local TV news? Andrew Heyward’s new mission is to find out"