Category Archives: Social Media

YouTube A Conspiracy Ecosystem

YouTube a conspiracy ecosystem: Craig Timberg and Drew Harwell write about wild conspiracies that flood YouTube.

“Among the most popular genres in the collection were related to mass shootings, and especially the one in Las Vegas in October that killed 58 people,” they write. “Typically these portrayed the attacks as politically motivated hoaxes, so called ‘false flags’ intended to dupe the public into believing that gun rights needed to be curtailed.” The 50 most widely viewed mass-shooting conspiracy videos were viewed 50 million times.

 

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The Enduring Weather Person

The enduring weather person: Andrew McCormick observes that weather reporters entertain audiences in fair weather and counsel them in bad.

“It isn’t completely surprising that they would be in demand as storms loom,” he writes. “But it is notable, in the age of Twitter and smart phones, that the broadcast TV weather person — analog, local, old-school — has stayed so viable.”

 

Celebrity Death Hoaxes

Celebrity death hoaxes: Daniel Funke and Alexios Mantzarlis report that celebrity deaths are a popular subgenre of misinformation and offer 15 fact-checking links.

“At a time when we are at pains to distinguish ‘real news’ from ‘fake news,’ falling for these shallow fabrications undermines the argument,” they write.

 

Guarding Against Online Trolls

Guarding against online trolls: James Ball reports that journalistic thoughtfulness often “goes out the door when it comes to reporting events that begin on social media.”

Online celebrities and people on the internet often are manipulators with agendas, Ball writes.

“And journalists fall into their trap, time and time again; something about online messaging turns off our reporting instincts.”

 

Images And False Portrayals

Images and false portrayals: Rick Paulas reports that KTVU apologized for using an image from a murder victim’s Facebook account.

The news media often treat subjects differently according to race, writes Paulas, portraying black families as living in poverty and being involved in crime. This has “real-life consequences” and sways attitudes.

 

Reporting On Opioids

Reporting on opioids: Maia Szalavitz reports that journalists fail to understand the complexities of opioid addiction and alternative treatment for pain or addiction.

The pharmaceutical industry “flooded the country with opioids and excellent journalism has exposed this part of the problem,” she writes. “But journalists need to become more familiar with who is most at risk of addiction and why — and to understand the utter disconnect between science and policy — if we are to accurately inform our audience.”

 

More On Covering Hate

More on covering hate: Amanda Darrach finds a culture gap between young technology reporters who think trolling rhetoric is funny, while older reporters take it “totally seriously.”

“Our system is geared towards media manipulation on a massive scale,” she writes. “There are a lot of reasons why we’re in the mess that we’re in. Some of it has to do with reporters making bad choices, but the system is just set up to be manipulated.”

Bottom line: “It’s our job to document the human condition, and that includes the ugly parts.”

 

Creating An Online Portfolio

Creating an online portfolio: Rachel Schallom says think about your unique skills when creating an online portfolio that shows your work history.

“It’s a common challenge for many journalists,” she writes. “There are many roles in journalism that don’t lend themselves to traditional clip packages — editors, strategists, engagement producers, product managers.”

 

Beware Pitfalls Of Amateur Video

Beware pitfalls of amateur video: The Toledo Blade’s managing editor apologizes for mistakes in reporting a fatal police-involved shooting based on a flawed Facebook video.

“The first of several mistakes we made in covering this breaking story was to share on our website a Facebook Live feed of a young man recording the gathering crowd in North Toledo and what people were saying. The man repeated over and over that police had shot ‘a young boy,’ a ’16-year-old boy,’ telling his Facebook audience that ‘someone said’ the boy was kneeling in the street when ‘the police’ shot him.

“None of that was true,” wrote the editor. The video photographer was not a trained journalist “and in our haste to ‘get something up’ we grabbed his Facebook video and shared it.” It was removed when police explained they shot a 25-year-old armed robbery suspect.

Another mistake was an inflammatory headline, later changed, saying “Police gun down man in North Toledo.”