Need to Know: July 20, 2018

Fresh useful insights for people advancing quality, innovative and sustainable journalism


You might have heard: People’s trust in their favorite news outlet has increased in the last year

But did you know: When a link to a news story shows the source, some people end up trusting it less (Nieman Lab)

Readers actually seem to trust news articles they click into less when the stories come labeled with the news outlet that published it, according to a study from the Knight Foundation and Gallup. The study had more than 3,000 U.S. adults rate the trustworthiness (on a scale of 1 to 5) of articles over a four-week period. The stories participants evaluated came from Media Matters, Vox, The New York Times, AP, Fox News, Breitbart News, and 100PercentFedUp. Outlets with source attribution had a lower overall mean trustworthiness rating per article, with ratings dropping the most when readers saw Vox, Fox, or Breitbart News as the source. Breitbart News, 100PercentFedUp, and Media Matters ranked lowest in trustworthiness even when readers didn’t see them labeled. “Partisanship is clearly at play,” writes Shan Wang, with Democrats and Republicans in the study both favoring articles representing their ideological preference when the source is hidden.

+ Earlier: Our own experiment showed that when Americans encounter news on social media, trust is determined less by who creates the news than by who shares it

+ Noted: Facebook will begin taking down fake news intended to encourage violence (CNBC); The Guardian has raised more than $130 million by asking readers for financial support (NBC); Congressman Devin Nunes runs campaign ad accusing his local newspaper of publishing fake news about him (Politico); Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press calls for nominations for its 2019 press freedom awards (RCFP)


How ethnic and mainstream media can collaborate in changing communities (American Press Institute)

Yesterday API published the final chapter in our series on collaborations between mainstream and ethnic media outlets. This chapter examines how these outlets serve different audiences, explains how to build true partnerships that go beyond a “fixer” relationship, and offers strategies for connecting with ethnic communities in flux.

The week in fact-checking

As part of a fact-checking journalism partnership, API and the Poynter Institute highlight stories worth noting related to truth in politics and on the Internet. The latest edition of “The Week in Fact-Checking” newsletter includes a look at how a fringe internet hoax went mainstream, plus a new report on containing fake news and why major outlets like ABC News and Time mistakenly reported on a false alarm at the World Cup.


How The Conversation re-uses archival coverage (The Lenfest Institute)

The Conversation publishes articles from academics and releases them under a Creative Commons license. To respond more quickly to breaking news, the staff implemented a system for regularly updating and promoting archival stories that are relevant to the day’s headlines. “…We don’t have to start from scratch with an author when there is news, we can take something that is relevant, accurate, and just a little out of date and retop it with the latest developments,” says Joel Abrams, The Conversation’s U.S. manager of media outreach. One important thing to remember: “Be transparent,” writes Joseph Lichterman. “Nobody likes to feel duped, so as you’re thinking about ways to re-use archival coverage, it’s critical that you’re transparent with readers” about when the original article was published and when it was updated.

+ News orgs that regularly resurface archival coverage or evergreen content (Twitter, @ylichterman)


The U.K.’s Full Fact finds that fact-checking operations reach mostly men (Full Fact)

Last autumn, Full Fact carried out audience research to understand who was using them and why. “Our results showed that we were consistently reaching men more than women,” writes Amy Sippitt. Curious to know whether this problem extended to other fact-checkers, she ran a workshop in June at the international fact-checking summit, Global Fact V, to ask fact-checkers from across the world: Does fact-checking have a women problem? “All fact-checkers participating in the workshop agreed that in our direct communications we seem to reach more men than women…The gap varied depending on the country and the channel (e.g. our websites or Facebook) — but it was always there.”


How emotional marketing can drive business growth (Knowledge@Wharton)

When it comes to appealing to customers, two elements in particular can have the most impact: a product or brand’s sensory appeal, and its design and aesthetics. Marketing firm Bain & Co. estimates that these elements contribute an eye-opening 40 percent to the product’s Net Promoter Score, an index that measures how willing consumers would be to recommend a product to others. That’s because they help define the product’s emotional impact on customers: Does it reduce anxiety, give a sense of wellness or nostalgia, have pleasing design aesthetics, and reward or entertain the user? Together, these emotional effects are twice as powerful as a product’s functionality in predicting its NPS.


The press needs to be anti-partisan, not bipartisan (TechDirt)

News organizations typically take what journalism professor Jay Rosen calls “the view from nowhere” — reporting the news in a “he said, she said” fashion. “We’ve long argued that if journalists want to actually be relevant, they need to have a point of view, and that point of view should be about what is true, not granting ‘equal weight’ to both sides of a story that doesn’t deserve it,” writes Mike Masnick. “Taking the side of truth and pointing out lies for what they are is not bias, it’s real journalism.” This “view from somewhere” approach goes beyond merely reporting the facts, to putting the facts in context so that the news is actually meaningful.

+ Earlier: Our explainer on “the lost meaning of objectivity” — the method is objective, not the journalist.


Reporters, facing a hostile White House, try a new tactic: solidarity (The New York Times)

An unusual show of solidarity between rival journalists seemed to signal a new approach by the White House press corps toward an administration that regularly uses briefings to deride, and divide, the news media, writes Michael Grynbaum. When press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently attempted to shut down a question from NBC News correspondent Hallie Jackson, the next reporter she called on, Jordan Fabian of The Hill, replied, “Hallie, go ahead if you want.” Short but loaded exchanges like these have become a topic of heated discussion among White House reporters, who have privately debated how aggressively they should work together to get their questions answered.


+ Inside the mind of Mark Zuckerberg: The Facebook CEO’s thoughts on news, data, privacy, China and his political ambitions (Recode)

+ Truth, Disrupted: False news spreads online faster, farther, and deeper than truth does — but it can be contained. A new report digs into the strategies: educating consumers and publishers, changing their incentives, improving technological tools, and applying (the right amount of) governmental oversight (Harvard Business Review)

+ The universe of people trying to deceive journalists keeps expanding, and newsrooms aren’t ready (Nieman Lab)