Newsrooms gear up to cover 2020 misinformation
With a little more than a year to go before the 2020 election, U.S. newsrooms are gearing up for what they expect will be a deluge of misinformation aimed at influencing, dividing and confusing voters.
The efforts fall, roughly, into two categories: Covering misinformation as a beat to alert readers to hoaxes and trends in false information; and learning or improving verification skills to ensure that news stories don’t reproduce or amplify falsehoods.
In an example of the former, The Washington Post last month announced that it had assigned reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker to what it called a new “digital democracy” beat focused on “the largely unregulated and increasingly dominant role of the internet in driving U.S. politics.” One of his early pieces was a smart take on how Republicans who express concern about President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are becoming targets of disinformation campaigns.
This summer, The New York Times, in a piece laying out its fact-checking operation and its plans to cover online disinformation, said that it will again create a “tip line” readers can use to flag material they think is intended to mislead. A similar venture during the midterms resulted in about 4,000 submissions, it said.
And, of course, our newsletter co-author Daniel Funke recently launched a new misinformation beat for (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact, focusing on falsehoods from and about the 2020 candidates’ campaigns.
We saw similar efforts to bolster coverage of misinformation before the 2018 midterms,
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/american-newsrooms-2020-efforts-cover-misinformation-but-dont-amplify-it/