A confluence of recent articles has me thinking about the solution to disinformation. ‘Fake news’ isn’t a new phenomenon, but in the age of rapid dissemination and unmoderated distribution channels it’s potentially a bigger issue than ever. The linked article above summarises the behaviour changes that come from reading misinfo, based on a study of 4,500 participants via an article on the Irish news website TheJournal.ie. Effectively, misinformation has small impacts on individuals’ behaviour that add up to major social impacts.
So what is the solution to that disinformation pandemic? The Financial Times has rightly been lauded for its well-presented graphs about Covid cases over the pandemic – but as this article for ONA concludes even well-presented data can be misinterpreted by audiences who haven’t been trained to parse data.
So if data won’t do it, what will? Craig Newmark has just donated another $1 million to fund a rapid-response solution to misinformation, aimed at countering the spread of misinformation before it begins. If a lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on, then this scheme aims to help lace those boots up faster. Will it help? Who can say – but it’s more vital than ever that we try.
We’ve been really impressed by how rapidly the industry has turned around to deliver virtual events. This article from Better News asks (among other things) how the Los Angeles Times managed it, and what it hopes to snatch from the rubble of the pandemic.
It’s not easy breaking into TV news – just ask Vice or GB News. But if there’s any organisation that could do it well it might just be Bild, which knows its audience: “The reason for the expansion is that it knows its audience likes video: in 2020, eight of the top 10 best-converting content was video-related, such as documentaries and livestreams, which are both Plus Premium perks.”
Has local news lost its way? Writing for Nieman Lab Anne Schulz takes a look at the data that demonstrates why ‘news’ wasn’t the primary reason audiences looked to local papers. Instead, as with the UK, that community information angle appears to have been lost.This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: