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"

It’s too early to declare Facebook’s anti-fake news efforts a failure

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.

“Fake Media Facebook will tell you this article is disputed.” One of the first times we saw a Fakebook fake news alert in the wild was around St. Patrick’s Day, for a debunked story on the “Irish slave trade.” (Better known as the Irish slaves myth.) The Guardian’s Sam Levin reported this week that Facebook’s “throttling” had the opposite effect: “A bunch of conservative groups grabbed this and said, ‘Hey, they are trying to silence this blog — share, share share,'” claimed Christian Winthrop, the editor of Newport Buzz, the site that published the article. It’s unclear how often this is happening. Facebook’s recognition of the Irish slave trade article, in particular, Continue reading "It’s too early to declare Facebook’s anti-fake news efforts a failure"

This new tool adds a little news to your web-browsing life every time you hit Ctrl-T (or ⌘-T)

What happens when you open a new tab in your web browser? Use this Chrome extension, you’ll see a stunning new satellite image from Google Earth. This one and you’ll see a stunning new…picture of One Direction. Or use this one (as I do) and you’ll see a randomized selection of Google Fonts and a custom color palette — just the sort of thing that might fire up some design creativity. For people at their desk all day, the New Tab screen in their browser might be one of their most viewed pieces of digital real estate. So what if you tried sneaking some news into it? That’s the idea behind NewsPix, a new Chrome extension from MIT’s Future of News initiative. (MIT’s Matt Carroll and Emerson College’s Catherine D’Ignazio and Jay Vachon are involved.) Install it and each new blank tab will be filled with a
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Sunlight Foundation, Melody Kramer, and 20 other media/tech projects get Knight Prototype Funds

Knight Foundation is giving 22 media and technology projects the chance to get one step closer to reality with a little help from the Prototype Fund. The projects include open-source tools for sharing data among news organizations, a newsroom app that encourages better collaboration, and software that will make it easier to access public information from federal agencies. Knight is awarding a total of $770,000, with each individual project receiving $35,000 to help test early ideas and build, as the name suggests, a prototype. (Disclosure: Knight is a funder of Nieman Lab, but not through the Prototype Fund.) Many of the projects are targeted at making data more accessible, either to journalists or the general public: “Scrubadub,” by Datascope Analytics, is designed to help people “easily and ethically analyze unstructured text through a tool that scrubs personally identifiable information from raw text.” A team at Emerson College’s Engagement
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