Tag Archives: Washington Post

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.

 

Advertisements

Media Mount Attack On “Fake News” Charges

Media mount attack on “fake news” charges.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr. writes the Boston Globe urges American news groups to respond to the president’s scorn of the press.

“The rally calls for the opinion writers that staff newspaper editorial boards to produce independent opinion pieces about Trump’s attacks on the media,” he writes. The Associated Press reports that 70 news organizations agreed.

 

Death Of Business Reporting

Death of business reporting: Steven Pearlstein writes that executive suites shun reporters.

“Indeed, what’s happened in the corporate world is not all that different from what has happened in politics and government in the era of Donald Trump, whose administration has set new highs in terms of distrust and hostility toward the press.”

To be fair, Pearlstein adds that media share blame for the sorry state of corporate press relations because of cuts in staff and attention to the business world.

 

Sleeping With Elephants

 

Reporters covering the circus can’t sleep with elephants: David Von Drehle faults editors in the affair between New York Times reporter Eli Watkins and a federal security aide.

“One after another, as Watkins rocketed up the career ladder, her supervisors failed to dig deeply enough to weigh the damage that could be done to the credibility of all media should her pillow talk be made public. Now that the laundry is aired and the damage is done, some of these same editors are minimizing the impact on media credibility.”

Defining Civility

Defining civility: The Washington Post’s editorial board sees strong political feelings spilling over into the private sphere.

“We understand the strength of feelings, but we don’t think the spilling is a healthy development,” says the board. “Those who are insisting that we are in a special moment justifying incivility should think for a moment how many Americans might find their own special moment.”

Other views on civility and media appear in Commentary, Vice, Salon, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Vox.

Ethics Of Talking Machines

Ethics of talking machines: Drew Harwell writes that Google’s artificial intelligence assistant sounds almost exactly like a human.

It’s a convenience for phone-shy people, “but it is also raising thorny questions about the ethics of using a machine to copy a person’s voice, carry out commands — and potentially deceive the unsuspecting listener on the other side.”

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.

 

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.”

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.