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.
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.”
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.
What news consumers don’t know about journalism: Margaret Sullivan asks journalists what they wish news consumers knew about their business.
“The vetting process is similar at many large news organizations — and it’s just one of the practices that journalists assume, perhaps incorrectly, that news consumers understand,” writes Sullivan. “Sourcing is one of the least understood of the mysteries.”
Fake news might have proved more interesting to readers than the factual stuff.
This sobering thought has churned angst over whether social-media falsehoods contributed to Donald Trump’s presidential victory, not to mention whether the upset win could have been foreseen.
News consumers tend to believe reports that support their personal beliefs — an effect that psychologists call confirmation bias. People like to believe they’re right. In the election run-up, they clicked their way across the internet to prove it.
As President-elect Trump selects the people who’ll help him govern, observers are picking through the rubble trying to understand the forces behind a Republican victory. Here our concern is news-media accuracy and ethics.
Let’s start with something basic. What is fake news?
“Pure fiction,” says Jackie Spinner, assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, appearing on WTTW-Channel 11 in Chicago in a “Chicago Tonight” program devoted to separating fact from fiction in internet news feeds.
“It’s something made up,” adds Spinner. “It’s fake.”