Category Archives: Online News

Facebook Trust Guidelines

Facebook guide to what to read, trust and share in News Feed:

Based on research, “we’re making it easy for people to view context about an article, including the publisher’s Wikipedia entry, related articles on the same topic, information about how many times the article has been shared on Facebook, where it has been shared, as well as an option to follow the publisher’s page,” write Taylor Hughes, Jeff Smith and Alex Leavitt.

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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.

Embedding And Linking Challenged

Embedding and linking challenged: Eriq Gardner says a judge’s surprising decision on the use of a Tom Brady photo could disrupt the way news outlets use Twitter.

“Many of these cases involved some application of the so-called ‘server test,’ where the direct liability of a website publisher for copyright infringement turns on whether the image is hosted on the publisher’s own server or is embedded or linked from a third party server,” he writes.

Is Buying Twitter Followers Unethical?

Is buying Twitter followers unethical?

News organizations rarely confronted that question before, writes Paul Fahi. The New York Times found the practice is widespread, and the Chicago Sun-Times suspended its movie critic for padding his follower count.

A critic says a falsified follower count is like a newspaper inflating its circulation figures.

The Internet’s Central Villain

 

The Internet’s central villain: Farhad Manjo asks what is the driving force behind much of the chaos and disrepute online?

“This isn’t that hard,” he writes. “You don’t need a crazy wall to figure it out, because the force to blame has been quietly shaping the contours of life online since just about the beginning of life online: It’s the advertising business, stupid.”

 

Opioid Crisis Collateral Damage

Opioid crisis collateral damage is a lesson for journalists, writes Byard Duncan.

Many states hit hard by the opioid crisis also are seeing a spike in foster care placements. In most cases, the broad designation of “substance abuse” is all that gets logged by social workers.

“Sometimes the information we don’t have is even more important than what we know,” writes Duncan. Think about who else is affected, keep an open mind.

 

Crusading High School Journalists

Crusading high school journalists: Students learn that a popular history teacher is fired for misconduct, writes Eli Rosenberg.

The story is deleted from the newspaper website by school leaders. The students created their own website, the Herriman Telegram, and republished the story. Their slogan: “Student run. No censorship.”

 

Correcting Twitter Mistakes With Transparency

Correcting Twitter mistakes with transparency: Steven Potter tells how Thomson Reuters and the Associated Press correct Twitter mistakes.

“We don’t believe that an incorrect tweet should just be deleted without any further comment,” says a Thomson Reuters source. “To us, that would be lack of accountability.”

 

Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Journalism

Robots can write, but are they ethical?

Paul Chadwick writes about how artificial intelligence could damage public trust in journalism.

“For the time being, (ethics) codes could simply require that when AI is used the journalists turn their minds to whether the process overall has been compatible with fundamental human values,” he writes.