Transparency

How journalists are using DocumentCloud to support facts in their stories

Anti-press sentiment, fueled in no small part by President Trump, has left news organizations looking for new ways to bolster lagging trust. One way to increase trust is to improve the transparency of newsrooms by making journalists’ information-gathering processes more visible to the public. Some newsrooms are accomplishing this by using DocumentCloud, an online platform […]

Americans and the News Media: What they do — and don’t — understand about each other

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 A key factor in the erosion of Americans’ trust of their news media is a failure to communicate — we have a public that doesn’t fully understand how journalists […]

What the public expects from the press (and what journalists think)

The public and journalists expect the same things from the news media. The public just doesn’t think it’s getting it. What do people want from journalists? Above all, the public says it wants accuracy — for the media to verify and get the facts right. Fully 87 percent rank that as extremely or very important, […]

Liz Spayd calls for the NYT to be more transparent in why substantial story edits happen

“Readers, I believe, are far more sophisticated than they’re given credit for and want more transparency in stories that are shapeshifting before their eyes,” New York Times public editor Liz Spayd writes. “When changes affect a story’s overall tone or make earlier facts obsolete, or when added context recasts a story, readers should be told.” […]

When journalists get their info from social media, audiences find the reports less credible

Press conferences, interviews, telephone calls — these are the traditional ways in which journalists source their stories. Today, however, many more options are available. From Facebook to Twitter to Google, journalists have many new ways to track down information to inform their reporting. But what do audiences think about these techniques? Do readers think social […]

Dan Rather expresses concern about the transparency of Facebook’s algorithms

In a note on Facebook, Dan Rather expressed concern about the transparency of Facebook’s “mysterious algorithms,” while noting the benefits of Facebook for news : “I … worry about the opaqueness of Facebook and its mysterious algorithms. My team and I try to figure out why some posts seem to ‘hit’ and are shared thousands […]

How Mother Jones went undercover to reveal ugly truths about for-profit prisons

The magazine has published its 35,000-word investigation of a Louisiana for-profit prison, based on reporter Shane Bauer’s four-month stint as a prison guard. The magazine walked up to the line of accepted journalism ethics: reporters shouldn’t lie or misrepresent themselves as they pursue a story, writes media columnist Margaret Sullivan. “Undercover reporting becomes necessary,” the […]

Google knows what you did last summer: How to use the My Activity page to make it forget

For journalists, the amount of information that Google holds about you presents a risk to your sources, according to Paul Bradshaw. Searches for people, images and video, books and reports that you’ve read, visits to particular locations can all identify individuals. If you’re promising whistleblowers protection, you can delete this information.

The Panama Papers show a shift in mainstream journalism, moving more toward WikiLeaks

The Panama Papers show the “WikiLeaks-ization” of mainstream journalism, Jim Rutenberg writes. That shift is significant, and it’s one that’s changing the course of history, Rutenberg writes, as well as “changing the rules for mainstream journalists in the fierce business of unearthing secrets, and for the government and corporate officials in the fiercer business of […]

Margaret Sullivan: Given the importance of the Sanders story, why weren’t all editing changes made before it was published online?

Writing about a controversial story about Bernie Sanders that was edited after publication, Margaret Sullivan says: “The Sanders article was not a breaking news story, but rather a look back at his legislative record. Given its sensitivity and importance (it ended up on the front page on the morning of major primaries), why didn’t senior […]