Category Archives: Transparency

Fake News vs. Facts

Fake News vs. facts: Indira Lakshmanan says the Washington Post deserves a Pulitzer Prize for journalism ethics.

The Post’s investigative journalism “was most extraordinary for its transparency, breaking the fourth wall between the newsroom and readers by revealing those techniques to readers — showing how reporters got the story,” she writes. That reassured the public about the paper’s motives, methods and findings, and inoculated the Post against false claims, she says.

 

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Comey Hype Warning

Comey hype warning: Margaret Sullivan warns against a media “swoonfest” as the fired FBI director embarks on a tour to promote his anti-Trump memoir.

“The conflict-addicted media love a high-profile fight, and Comey vs. Trump continues to be a classic steel cage match,” she writes. “That is fine, as long as some critical distance is brought to bear.”

Sinclair Learning Moment

A Sinclair learning moment: “The controversy surrounding Sinclair is about more than partisanship, media consolidation and government oversight,” writes Pete Vernon.

“It’s about the very manner in which the American public understands where their news comes from and how it’s made.” Sinclair is perfectly capable of doing good news, a source tells Vernon. “But if consumers see things that offend them, they need to show it,” says the source.

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.

New Poll: Trust In Media Weakens

 

New poll: Trust in media weakens.

“Large majorities of the American public believe that traditional media outlets engage in reporting fake news and that outside sources are actively trying to plant fake stories in the mainstream media,” reports the Monmouth University poll. Editiorial decisions are called “fake news.”

Thriving On Rejection

Thriving on rejection: Jackie Spinner writes about an Illinois Associated Press reporter who finds stories in Freedom of Information request rejections.

“Report on outlandish denials or those about significant public issues,” says the reporter. “Access to actions by public bodies is a huge issue and denials need to be exposed.”

 

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.

Avoiding Off-The-Record Interviews

 

Indira Lakshmanan calls off-the-record interviews a trap.

“We earn public trust by providing true and accurate information and being clear with our audience and our sources about the ground rules under which we gather news,” she writes. “If news is in the public interest and we can’t inform the public, we’re not doing our jobs.”

 

Chicago Defender Fires Managing Editor

Conflict of interest: Tony Briscoe andElvia Malagon report that the Chicago Defender fired its managing editor for taking $10,000 to perform public relations work for an Illinois political candidate.

“The Chicago Defender is a longtime voice in this (African-American) community and it is imperative that we maintain the highest level of integrity and credibility,” the newspaper said in announcing it terminated the managing editor.