Politicians and the media have created a post-truth world and young people are easily duped. A recent Stanford University study found 80% of middle-school pupils could not tell an online news story apart from a piece of advertising and uni students did little better. The research covered news literacy, as well as students’ ability to judge Facebook and Twitter feeds, comments left in readers’ forums on news sites, blog posts, photographs and other digital messages that shape public opinion. Young people need to be taught digital literacy and learn about source criticism and cognitive bias and learn to mistrust the voice that says something must be right.
News Integrity Initiative – countering fake news
Announced 3 April. Facebook, Mozilla, the Walkley Foundation (Aust.), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and other tech leaders, non-profits and academics have formed the $14 million consortium to counter fake news. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism will administer the initiative and plans to make tools to help people be discerning about stories they read online and to increase trust in journalism around the world.
Fake news, piracy and digital duopoly of Google and Facebook
“Google and Facebook, the 2 most powerful news publishers in human history, have created an ecosystem that is dysfunctional and socially destructive” (Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp). They do not distinguish between the fake and the real because they make a lot of money from both.
Google and Facebook should pay for content
Senator Nick Xenophon thinks news organisations, publishers and TV networks should be given the right to charge Facebook and Google a content fee for publishing their stories and videos. He believes protecting traditional media companies is a crucial part of safeguarding democracy and open debate.
2016: the worst year for print
2016 saw decreased revenue from advertising for newspapers and magazines (so much advertising money goes to Google and Facebook). Readership in 2016: Sydney Morning Herald – decreased M-F and Sat; The Australian – increased M-F and decreased Sat; Aust. Geographic – 31% increase; Big Issue – 35.9% increase; New Scientist – 26.8% increase; Time – 18.2% increase; Rolling Stone – 11.5% increase; Frankie – 6.6% increase; Hyper – 6.9% increase.
Newspapers – print or digital?
A University of London study reveals that online UK newspapers engage each visitor for less than 30 seconds per day, but readers of print newspapers engage for 40 minutes per day. Time spent reading print and online newspapers doesn’t vary much between countries. In Australia, Fairfax (The Age & SMH) was expected to switch weekday editions to digital only, but is continuing with daily papers ‘for some years yet’.
Digital news takes precedence at ABC
ABC News (the largest news organisation in Australia) is planning a major refocus away from TV and radio to concentrate on expanding its digital news output and this could affect the 7pm flagship news and other current affairs programs. The ABC has a declining and ageing audience for news and current affairs (the 7pm news has 82% of viewers aged over 50). Increasingly, younger viewers watch very little live TV and often don’t watch news programs. To reach younger viewers, the news division will increase production of digital videos and launch a mobile-first story-telling unit.
Hilarious! Check this broken link and read comments from many well-known politicians eg. Trump: “Do you believe it? The Australian brought thousands of readers here and there’s nothing. Why? I will study this dumb broken link”. Someone had a lot of time on their hands J