When a president speaks, what he says is, by journalistic norms, inherently newsworthy. But when a president lies—on social media, at press conferences, and in speeches—news organizations have to reconsider old rules that instruct us to print (or tweet, or air) everything that he says. A new study from Media Matters for America found what many have long suspected anecdotally: news outlets too often fail to debunk Donald Trump’s false statements in the body of tweets about press conferences, speeches, or press gaggles headlined by the president.
Media Matters found that, in a three-week period, news outlets tweeted false or misleading statements by Trump without clearly correcting them in the body of the tweet 65 percent of the time. Authored by Matt Gertz and Rob Savillo, the study examined more than 2,000 tweets posted between January 26 and February 15 from the Twitter accounts of major American print, online, and broadcast news outlets.
“There is a lot of discussion of how journalists are passing on the president’s misinformation in headlines and tweets and we wanted to put some data to the phenomenon,” says Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters. “I was not expecting to have results that were as extreme as what we got.”
The authors chose Twitter accounts run by 32 major American news outlets and wires, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, Axios, Politico, the Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, and others.
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/twitter-media-trump.php