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Real News

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2. Publishers/Broadcasters

A guide to reading (and sharing) news in the "post-truth" world.

Mis- and Dis-information

There are many reasons news can be inaccurate. Strong codes of ethics notwithstanding, journalists make mistakes, especially in today's news environment of shrinking news revenue, understaffed newsrooms, and the demands of providing up-to-the-minute 24/7 headlines. But then there is also mis- and disinformation: Satire or parody, misleading content, imposter content, fabricated content, false connection (misleading headlines, visuals, or captions), false context, and manipulated content.

Poster from FirstDraft, showing 7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation

Fabricated Content & Propaganda

Top 5 Fake Election Stories by Facebook engagement

Understaffed Newsrooms

Breaking News & Rumor

Breaking news is especially vulnerable to mis/dis-information because:

  1. it takes time for journalists to sort fact from rumor, and
  2. readers amplify rumor by sharing unsubstantiated claims & stories.

False Connection and Context

Articles in print newspapers are in different sections: sports, editorials, local news, world news... . On the web, everything is in one long scroll, with dates and categories jumbled. The layouts of both create false connections.

Verifying Stories & Claims

Organizations Fixing Newsroom Problems