How to become a ‘harmless linker’ in three easy steps

You’ll probably also become a big fan of the Wayback Machine Mis- and dis-information are spread a number of ways and the thought of trying to free the news ecosystem of misleading, disingenuous and fraudulent news items can be overwhelming and disillusioning. But former RJI Fellow Barrett Golding is advocating one small step for mankind … Continued

Iffy.news: An index of unreliable sources

When the conversation turns to estimating how many online sites there are that deliver news articles with made-up facts, out-of-context assertions and purposefully misleading information, also known as dis- and mis-information, most folks shrug and say: “Too many.” But that wasn’t good enough for former RJI fellow Barrett Golding, who was aiming for a more … Continued

Breaking News 4: When real news is fake

For this article I’m defining fake news as “news stories that have no factual basis but are presented as facts” (taken from “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election”), whether a site’s goal is to make money or make partisan political points. Here are several ways real and fake news are the same. … Continued

Breaking News 2: When good ads go bad

Breaking News is a series on the self-inflicted fractures breaking the news business. The first was on malvertising. This second report is on the “ad tech tax” everyone pays — in dollars, time and readership.

Documentary class in session at RJI with Professor Spike Lee

A highlight of my RJI stay happened last week, 30 feet from my office. Spike Lee gave a master class to documentary and photojournalism students. He was in Columbia, Missouri, to premiere “2 Fists Up: We Gon Be Alright,” a new ESPN documentary on racial unrest at the University of Missouri that uses footage from the … Continued

How to make online news ‘brain friendly’

Online news can work with or against the brain. When RJI Fellows Alex Remington of The Washington Post and media researcher Paul Bolls applied brain science principles to news design, readers’ comprehension, recall and engagement increased. We interviewed the researchers (audio below) to learn how to make articles “brain friendly.” It’s all about the “reading path,” says Remington. “Classify the … Continued