Category Archives: Fabrication

Janet Cooke’s World

Janet Cooke’s world: Every student journalist should know about Cooke, the only reporter ever forced to return a Pulitzer Prize because her story about an eight-year-old heroin addict was a hoax.

Bill Green, the Washington Post’s ombudsman, wrote a blistering report on the Post’s editorial lapses that is a model of journalism accountability. It set the standard for ombudsmen. From the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists archives.

 

Hurricane Hoaxes

Hurricane hoaxes: “Hurricanes, just like floods or earthquakes, are commonly surrounded by hoaxes and might trigger the sharing of false information,” writes Cristina Tardaguila.

Make sure you know where to find official information.

 

Recognizing Satire

Recognizing satire: “People have long mistaken satire for real news,” write R. Kelly Garrett, Robert Bond and Shannon Poulsen.

Satirical newspapers found to be quoted as factual. Democrats and republicans fooled. Americans think made-up news is a significant problem.

 

Stickers Warn Of False News

Stickers warn of false news: Some fact-checkers around the world developed sticker warnings, writes Cristina Tardaguila.

“For now, they seem to be a nice (and colorful) way to tell friends and family they are spreading low-quality information — and should think twice before sharing content,” she writes.

 

The Truth Sandwich

The truth sandwich: Repeating a lie helps it to live on, writes Craig Newmark.

“I predict that, in 2019, news organizations will start to institute new reporting methods to avoid being complicit. Tactics may include adopting the ‘truth sandwich,’ which means covering a lie by presenting the truth first and then following that lie with a fact-check, as well as increasing newsroom capacity to check claims for accuracy in real time, prior to publishing a story.”

 

Spotting Fake Facebook Posts

Spotting fake Facebook posts: Keith Collins and Sheera Frenkel report that Facebook discovered hundreds of fake pages and user accounts this summer.

The New York Times reporters show real and deceptive posts, asking if you can tell which is fake. It isn’t easy.

The latest influence campaigns imitated post by legitimate pages and groups on Facebook that advocate political beliefs, they report, “amking it difficult to tell what was a genuine post and what was not.” Such campaigns also are known as online disinformation.

Guarding Against Deepfakes

Guarding against deepfakes: Nicholas Diakopoulos writes that a media synthesis algorithm generates convincing but fake video.

“Dire as the case may be, it could offer a great comeback opportunity for mainstream media,” writes Diakopoulos. Trained journalists can act as validators and assessors of mediated reality the public can trust.

 

NewsGuard Fights Fake News

 

By Casey Bukro

NewsGuard Technologies is recruiting veteran journalists to fight fake news by color-coding 7,500 news and information websites and video channels in the United States green, yellow and red.

A red rating goes to purveyors of consistently and intentionally false information or propaganda.

Now in the process of recruiting and training qualified journalists to be NewsGuard analysts, the enterprise, based in New York and Chicago, will begin operating in time for the mid-term elections in November.

The 7,500 news sources targeted account for 98 percent of the news articles read and shared in the English language online in the United States. After launching in the U.S., NewsGuard will expand to serve billions of people globally who get news online.

“Our goal is to help solve this (fake news) problem now by using human beings – trained, experienced journalists – who will operate under a transparent, accountable process to apply basic common sense to a growing scourge that clearly cannot be solved by algorithms,” said co-founder Steven Brill, longtime journalist and media entrepreneur.

The founders raised $6 million to launch NewsGuard.

In addition to color-coding websites or online publications, NewsGuard plans to issue Nutrition Labels that will explain the history of the site, what it attempts to cover, who owns it and who edits it. The labels also will reveal financing, notable awards or mistakes, whether the publisher upholds transparency standards or repeatedly is found at fault.

Two NewsGuard analysts will independently review and rate each site or online publication. One will draft the Nutrition Label and the other will edit it. The public can access these reviews to see why publishers got the green, yellow or red ratings.

Any disagreement between the two analysts is resolved by NewGuard’s senior editorial officers, including Brill, cofounder Gordon Crovitz, former Wall Street Journal publisher, James Warren, former Chicago Tribune managing editor and Eric Effron, former Legal Times editor and publisher.

Warren is NewsGuard’s executive editor and Effron is managing editor.

The lead investor in NewsGuard, among 18 investors, is Publicis Groupe, based in Paris. It is a French multinational advertising and public relations company, and the oldest and one of the largest marketing and communications companies in the world, by revenue.