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Posts Tagged ‘fact check’

Friday Roundup: The Week in Journalism

huffpostAPtweet.jpgIf anyone complained about dog days of summer in the newsroom, this week you got what you wished for. Here are some highlights in all of the chaos that was the news this week:

1) You can’t win if you’re covering Gaza. John Stewart illustrated this best in a skit on Monday night. And the New York Observer called out the New York Times for what it thinks is biased coverage of recent events. The ‘paper of record’ doesn’t think it’s doing anything wrong. What about you? How have you been staying objective — or have you decided to ditch that effort?

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

2) A lot of us need to read slower and learn AP style. On Tuesday, the AP tweeted about a plane carrying the victims of flight MH17. AP style is “crash-landed,” anyway, but a lot of us journos need to slow down. It was like we were waiting to start a fight with them. Read more

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Why Are Journalists Publishing Before Checking Facts?

INGreport2A new survey from Dutch company ING found that 45 percent of international journalists “publish as soon as possible and correct later,” while only 20 percent always do their due diligence before publishing.

Additionally, the 2014 Study Impact of Social Media on News report, created for PR professionals and journalists, reported that one-third of journalists don’t consider social media posts a reliable source of information. Still, 50 percent said the majority of their news tips and facts come from social.

But journalists don’t seem to mind questions of accuracy too much, since 60 percent said they feel less restricted by journalistic standards in their social media reporting. Twenty-two percent reported that they treat social media posts the same way as traditional methods when it comes to journalism ethics.

Finally, PR professionals, who once worked quite closely with journalists in setting up interviews and providing timely, accurate news items, say reporters aren’t as quick to get in touch with them. The assumption for this is that journalists are relying more frequently on social media info, despite their low levels of trust with the medium.

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Are You Ready for the State of the Union?

I’m all a-Twitter for tonight’s State of the Union address. Already, #SOTU is trending as media outlets and organizations prep for the big event. And, already, everyone is bemoaning, or planning drinking games, for the speech.

If you’re a cynic, it’s just more political theater. But if you, like me, are a political junkie, the State of the Union night is one whole awards season wrapped into an hour on C-Span. Provided Anonymous doesn’t hack the whole thing.

Like the Grammy’s or the Superbowl, I can’t wait to watch the event with the Twitter-verse. I won’t be sitting in a newsroom, but I’ll be trolling the #SOTU feed for my favorite journo friends’ take line-for-line.

I have a few favorites for tonight. Read more

WaPo Launches ‘Truth-Teller’ to Fact-Check in Real Time

Ever hot on the heels of politicians, straightening the fact from the fiction, the Washington Post has decided to take their methods to real-time reporting with their new system, Truth Teller. Funded by a prototype grant from the Knight News Challenge, Truth Teller is a mobile and desktop app that will be able to record, transcribe and show disputed facts and statistics in real time for everyone. Although still in its nascent stages, the end result would be an app that simultaneously transcribes speeches obtained via video (or, ideally, a live feed), recognizes citations of data or popular keywords, and matches them with fact-checked information from the WaPo staff. It’s not only the cutting edge of fact-checking journalism — it has the capacity to change the way people consume their political media. Read more

The Manti Te’o Scandal: How to Fact-Check in the Digital Age

It’s been a busy week in the digital blunders department. Deadspin’s expose on Manti Te’o’s non-existent girlfriend is shocking for the simple fact that all it took was some old fashioned fact-checking. That the Gawker Media sports blog “without access, favor, or discretion” scooped traditional sports media like Sports Illustrated and ESPN, among others, is a big deal — and a rather simple one.

It’s J-School 101. Always ask questions, ask until you get a real answer, and make sure you have real facts, dates and numbers, to back up your claim. Of course, it’s easy to look back and see where everything spiraled out of control. The online news world is exciting, fast paced, and usually effective. It’s easy to spread a good story online; it’s now twice as hard to make sure it’s true.

Here’s a quick refresher:

1. Follow The Links

In the digital age, it’s safe to say that most journalists will repost, retweet and report on a story if enough media outlets are linking to it. As long as there are enough outlets reporting on a story and those outlets are credible, it can seem safe to pass it along. But don’t we all know that feeling of finding yourself in a link loop? One blog links to a story and that link leads us to another story and another one linking back to the same quote and then you find yourself back at the first story, never getting to a real source? It’s easy to call off the search when the original “breaking news” post is on a questionable or obscure news source. It’s not so easy when the “facts” comes from a Sports Illustrated cover story (oh, to be a fly on that wall today!) or ESPN.

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