Looking for truth in the post-truth era: new challenges for the web journalism
If you ever wondered how to say “fake news” in latin, it’s “nuntii fallaces” – and pope francis is writing a document on just that. Francis announced it himself in a tweet to his nearly 40 million followers on friday, saying the theme of his message for the roman catholic church’s next world day of social communications will be “the truth will set you free. Fake news and journalism for peace. ” in latin, one of the nine languages the pope uses to tweet, that would be “veritas liberavit vos”.
Good decision-making depends on people having reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context. Journalism does not pursue truth in an absolute or philosophical sense, but in a capacity that is more down to earth. “all truths – even the laws of science – are subject to revision, but we operate by them in the meantime because they are necessary and they work,” kovach and rosenstiel write in the book. Journalism, they continue, thus seeks “a practical and functional form of truth. ” it is not the truth in the absolute or philosophical or scientific sense but rather a pursuit of “the truths by which we can operate on a day-to-day basis.
“All truths – even the laws of science – are subject to revision, but we operate by them in the meantime because they are necessary and they work,” kovach and rosenstiel write in the book. Journalism, they continue, thus seeks “a practical and functional form of truth. ” it is not the truth in the absolute or philosophical or scientific sense but rather a pursuit of “the truths by which we can operate on a day-to-day basis. ”.
Let’s examine the verification process a little closer. Becoming a literate news consumer requires us to be able to identify legitimate journalism. Legitimate journalism seeks truth. But how do we define that truth?
truthful reporting comes from using facts that can be confirmed. All the details may not be known. But a news story should include the latest version of events based on verified facts.
What happened to the truth?
This “journalistic truth” is a process that begins with the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts. Then journalists try to convey a fair and reliable account of their meaning, subject to further investigation. Journalists should be as transparent as possible about sources and methods so audiences can make their own assessment of the information. Even in a world of expanding voices, “getting it right” is the foundation upon which everything else is built – context, interpretation, comment, criticism, analysis and debate. The larger truth, over time, emerges from this forum.
The publisher of journalism – whether a media corporation answering to advertisers and shareholders or a blogger with his own personal beliefs and priorities — must show an ultimate allegiance to citizens. They must strive to put the public interest – and the truth – above their own self-interest or assumptions. A commitment to citizens is an implied covenant with the audience and a foundation of the journalistic business model – journalism provided “without fear or favor” is perceived to be more valuable than content from other information sources.
Honesty in presenting information
Tact is the ability to tell the truth in a way that considers other people’s feelings and reactions. It allows you to give difficult feedback, communicate sensitive information, and say the right thing to preserve a relationship. Tact encompasses many things, including emotional intelligence, thoughtfulness, compassion, subtlety, honesty, diplomacy, and courtesy.
Guideline: our audience should always know which information comes from what source. Plagiarism – taking someone else’s work and intentionally presenting it as if it is your own – is theft. At npr it’s an unforgivable offense. But it’s not enough that we don’t intend to deceive our audience. Our standard is to make clear to our audience where the information we bring them comes from.
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It’s passable. It has the basics you need, although nothing fancy. I like that when you copy and paste the content into the editor there is virtually nothing else you need to do. News break content is designed to be consumed on a smartphone so the images are quite small. Stripping out links from your content is one issue with the editor. The only way to remove links is to copy your content without any formatting, and then go back and format everything from scratch. This is time-consuming. I leave links in my articles unless they contain something news break wouldn’t be ok with — like a link to me selling my ebook.
Here are some tips to consider when evalutating news as taught in schools:
Audience first. Think about who your audience is when you are trying to create understanding. For example, in an essay written to impress your english professor with how much you have learned about jane austen, you will start with a set of assumptions about what someone with a ph. D. In 19th century british literature already knows about jane austen, what terms you can assume she will understand, and her level of interest in your topic.
You have to consider not only the audience but the motivation and the goal of the writing. You simply cannot just take things at face value.
The bell founder elizaveta osetinskaya was forced out of her post as editor-in-chief of the business news site rbc in 2016, along with other editors, over investigations of president putin’s family and russian connections in the panama papers. After that, osetinskaya went to stanford university as a journalism fellow, then launched the bell, whose subscribers receive daily email newsletters on russian business and politics. The bell’s reporting is also found on news sites in russian and english. And on her youtube channel , osetinskaya features interviews with russian business figures.
This is the kind of thing we can look forward to now that the media has turned the corner in this regard.
Coronavirus News Roundup, March 13 – March 19
We live in an age of conspiracy, fake news, and hoaxes. Let’s look at the real-world consequences of the “truther” movements that relentlessly target family and friends of the victims in high-profile tragedies, from sandy hook to las vegas. We’ll talk to victims, trace the roots and motivations of hoaxers, and examine what can — or should — be done by tech companies and lawmakers to help find solutions.
A prominent liberal commentator expressed his doubts to both russian and western media. “it’s a tradition for russia since chernobyl — to hide the truth,” valery solovei told abc news, not long after he’d made similar remarks on the influential russian radio station ekho moskvy. In his march 16 ekho interview, solovei cited numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths that were significantly higher than kremlin officials acknowledged.
Russia’s media regulator roskomnadzor ordered the station to remove the interview, “to prevent the spread of false information related to the coronavirus,” ekho complied. The memories may be 34 years old, but for many russians the 1986 chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster remains shorthand for government lying and censorship. It happened in a country, the soviet union, whose communist party leaders exercised such ruthless control that they could maintain a three-day, total news blackout.
The actions by the media for the last several years are acting along the same lines.
How Has Fake News Affected Content Marketing?
How pervasive is the problem of misinformation, unverified facts and false claims in the current content-marketing environment? to find out, visme asked the experts. Fake news. It’s the year’s biggest buzz term: we see it all over our televisions, in the paper and on the web. We even hear it straight from the president’s mouth. Don’t agree with a report? call it fake news.
Just how serious are the problems with misinformation, false claims and fake news? in last year’s duke reporter’s lab census , international fact-checking projects increased from 64 in 2015 to 96 in 2016, across 37 countries. According to a survey of 1,212 adults from tow-knight center for entrepreneurial journalism and contently, when a trusted publisher features native advertising for a trustworthy brand, 41 percent of consumers gain trust in that publisher. Likewise, when a trusted publisher features native advertising for an untrustworthy brand, 43 percent of consumers lose trust in that publisher.
Tip: Create your own dynamic charts and reports with this easy-to-use tool. Try it for free to find out just how pervasive the issue of misinformation and “fake news” might be, visme conducted an anonymous survey among content marketers. When we discovered there is little factual evidence to be found, we devised the study to take a preliminary look at fact-checking practices in the industry.
The Dangers of Misinformation
What to do? more and more, from inside as well as outside the trade, there is a demand for interpretive reporting, which puts into the one-dimensional story the other dimensions that will make it approximate the truth. But this entails serious dangers. I have seen some undeniably well-intentioned endeavors to put in those other dimensions, but the dimensions were derived, not from the evidence, but from the opinions or prejudices of the reporter; and if the practice were to become general they might in some cases be derived from the opinions and prejudices of the publisher, as they so often used to be.
Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past. Concern about the phenomenon led facebook and google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation.
Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is. Snopes. Com has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between. Founder david mikkelson warned in a nov. 17 article not to lump everything into the “fake news” category. “the fictions and fabrications that comprise fake news are but a subset of the larger bad news phenomenon, which also encompasses many forms of shoddy, unresearched, error-filled, and deliberately misleading reporting that do a disservice to everyone,” he wrote.
Obviously, professional content marketers do their best to present valid information to their audiences. But as our survey results illustrate, one unfounded claim can quickly lead to a wave of misinformation. But mistakes can still happen. We asked content experts how to best avoid spreading misinformation and other “fake news. ”“if you don’t have any fact-checking processes in place, it’s more important now than ever to change that,” varley said. “ snopes. Com is a great resource for checking the validity of a story, so it’s always a good idea to use that before putting pen to paper, especially if the ‘fact’ you’ve read sounds a bit off.
What is Verifiable Information?
The spj code of ethics is a statement of abiding principles supported by explanations and position papers that address changing journalistic practices. It is not a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide, regardless of medium. The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. It is not, nor can it be under the first amendment, legally enforceable.
As citizens encounter an ever-greater flow of data, they have more need – not less – for suppliers of information dedicated to finding and verifying the news and putting it in context.
Verify: fact-check information to confirm it is true before accepting and sharing it. Balance: share the whole truth, even if some aspects do not support your opinion. Cite: share your sources so that others can verify the information. Clarify: distinguish between your opinion and the facts. Acknowledge when others share true information, even when you disagree with their point of view. Reevaluate if your information is challenged, and retract it if you cannot verify it.
Journalists rely on a professional discipline for verifying information. While there is no standardized code as such, every journalist uses certain methods to assess and test information to “get it right. ”being impartial or neutral is not a core principle of journalism. Because the journalist must make decisions, he or she is not and cannot be objective. But journalistic methods are objective.
How to serve up a tasty ‘truth sandwich?’
Each spring the members of the american newspaper publishers association assemble in convention and spend a good deal of their time eulogizing themselves. Conventions of editors and reporters, whether for newspapers or radio news, are more practical and less complacent. The american news business, press and radio, certainly deserves some eulogies; it is the most copious in the world, and i think its average quality is at least as good as any other’s. But it is not yet good enough. Too often we tell the customers not what is really going on, but what seems to be going on.