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Nieman Journalism Lab 10/22/2020 20:27
Here at Nieman Lab, we’ve been following the discussions around the value of the comments sections for years, as newsrooms have moderated them, changed platforms, and gotten rid of them all together. A study published Thursday by the Center for Media Engagement (CME) at the University of Texas, Austin, looked at what comments sections mean...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/22/2020 15:15
In 2009, Alex S. Jones1 published a book called Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy. 2009 was still relatively early in the Internet-driven decline of American newspapers, but the financial crisis had already done plenty of damage to news company revenues and newsroom jobs. In the book, Jones focused on...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/22/2020 09:00
It can be easy to overlook how the rest of the world is making sense of America’s chaotic campaign season. But in many cases, they’re paying attention just as closely as U.S. voters are. After all, who wins the U.S. presidency has implications for countries around the world. Since Sept. 22, we’ve been using machine-learning...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/20/2020 14:27
For journalists in 2020, some of the biggest hurdles in getting factual, corroborated information to news consumers are getting to them before the misinformation does or correcting the false information they’ve previously consumed. Every time something like QAnon or the Plandemic video makes its way to national headlines, I know I’m not alone in wondering...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/20/2020 06:00
Last month, Prism’s senior reporter Tina Vasquez broke the story identifying a Georgia doctor, Mahendra Amin, who allegedly forcibly sterilized immigrant women in the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia. When The Intercept published the first story about whistleblower Dawn Wooten’s complaint against the doctor, Vasquez, a seasoned immigration and reproductive rights reporter, started...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/19/2020 07:37
I like to think of David Weinberger’s book titles over the past two decades as a sort of tour of the Internet’s metastasizing complexity. First, in 2003, Small Pieces Loosely Joined. Then, in 2007, Everything Is Miscellaneous. In 2012, Too Big to Know. And last year, Everyday Chaos. They move, roughly, from connection to organization...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/19/2020 07:00
Recent decisions by Facebook and YouTube to crack down on the far-right conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon will disrupt the ability of dangerous online communities to spread their radical messages, but it won’t stop them completely. Facebook’s Oct. 6 announcement that it would take down any “accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/15/2020 11:53
From wild conspiracy theories to legitimate growing pains associated with implementing brand-new voting procedures, exactly how Americans will cast their ballots has become a major political story. FiveThirtyEight is promising “constant coverage” of the evolving process — including all of the moving parts and “subplots” – by launching a “slower-than-usual liveblog” that will last until...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/13/2020 13:28
The Journalism and the Pandemic Project, a partnership between the International Center for Journalists and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, published the first part of their global survey of journalists on Tuesday. The results were “startling and disturbing,” wrote project authors Julie Posetti, Emily Bell, and Peter Brown: Based on an...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/13/2020 10:32
The journalist Dan Baum died last week. I haven’t found an obituary anywhere, but it’s been confirmed by friends and former employers, like Harper’s. My friend and all around Mensch, Dan Baum, passed away yesterday. It wasn't unexpected; his family was with him. I will remember Dan for his writing, hats, liberal love of guns,...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/09/2020 13:49
Where did you hear that? A new study found that though people often turn to traditional media sources — 91% reported getting information about Covid-19 from newspapers, TV, or radio — they’re also paying attention to multiple other sources, including government websites, friends and family members, and social media. The study, by researchers at NYU’s...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/09/2020 10:47
Facebook’s fact-checking program relies on third-party fact-checking and news organizations to help weed out fake and misleading news on the platform. That limits the program from scaling up, since there are only so many organizations that do this work. But what if Facebook could use regular people — people whose day job is not fact-checking...
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/08/2020 12:57
With just 26 days to go before the United States presidential election — in the middle of a major racial justice movement during a pandemic — U.S. adults are worried that misinformation will influence the results. In its latest survey in the Trust, Media and Democracy series, Gallup and the Knight Foundation asked 1,269 U.S....
Nieman Journalism Lab 10/08/2020 08:30
What work is required to build public trust in journalism? Journalism faces a well-documented crisis of trust. This long-running decline in public confidence in the press is part of a broader skepticism that has developed about the trustworthiness of institutions more generally — leading to an overall trust recession that worries observers who speculate about...

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