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New research: The characteristics of news stories that help attack misinformation

The number of fact-checking stories produced by journalists has increased dramatically in recent years, but could those stories be better at countering misinformation? Scholars and journalists have begun to explore the characteristics that improve fact-checking’s success in helping readers understand and accept factual information. My recent study, supported by the American Press Institute, examines how […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: You won, now go fix this thing

We’re counting on these projects to fix a couple of journalism’s stickiest problems: A mobile game that tracks falsehoods, a tool that busts lie-spewing bots, and a quality scorecard for media. They’re among the winners of a $1 million challenge from The Knight Prototype Fund to tackle misinformation and build trust in media. Read this morning’s announcement […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: We’ve seen this scene before

Anyone who’s been surprised by the role of false news in elections probably wasn’t paying attention in history class. David Robert Grimes, an Oxford University researcher who’s studied misinformation and AIDS, writes in The Guardian that dezinformatsiya campaigns were created and directed by the Russians decades ago. Today, he says, nearly all of us are to blame for the spread of […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: That big, gaping partisan divide

An analysis of 10 U.S. partisan publications found that during the 2016 presidential election, popular conservative websites were far more likely to criticize fact-checking organizations than their liberal counterparts. Read about the report on Poynter.org. Quote of the week “Because here’s the thing: fact-checking isn’t friendly. Nor should it be. Fact-checking developed to hold powerful […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Check, rinse, repeat

You are likelier to think something is true if you’ve encountered it more often, a phenomenon psychologists call the “familiarity effect.” This has bedeviled efforts to root out widespread misperceptions because debunking them inevitably requires repeating them. A new study offers some hope (and tips) for fact-checkers. Quote of the week “On the internet there […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: The truth about fact-checkers’ disagreements

A preliminary study comparing the consistency of ratings by PolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker had a promising approach but a misleading conclusion. The key finding, that “14 out of 70 statements (20 percent) received two completely opposite ratings from the fact-checkers” led to a smattering of snarky — and unsubstantiated — headlines. Read the report […]

‘My’ media versus ‘the’ media: Trust in news depends on which news media you mean

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research For years, studies have shown Americans’ trust in the news media is steadily declining. In recent months, the rise of so-called fake news and the rhetoric of President Donald […]

People have more trust in ‘my’ media than ‘the’ media

Previous conceptions of trust in media Researchers have found trust in media declining for several years now, though they don’t all agree on when the trend started. The Gallup research organization, which has been asking about media trust in general since 1972, found it hit a high-water mark in 1976, three years after the Watergate […]

How much Republicans and Democrats trust ‘their’ media

Support for the watchdog One area where public confidence in the media has not eroded over the years is the watchdog role of the press. The Pew Research Center, for several years, has asked the following: “Some people think that by criticizing leaders, news organizations keep political leaders from doing their job. Others think that […]

Older generations are more trusting of news media

If politics causes a divide in trust, so does age. In general, regardless of party identification, younger adults are less likely to trust the news media than older adults. But here again (though not on every metric), those numbers change if people are asked about the media they use most often. There is not such […]

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