Latest stories - Laura Hazard Owen

Yesterday   “The backfire effect is in fact rare, not the norm.” Does fact-checking really make things worse? The U.K.’s independent fact-checking organization Full Fact looked at research into the so-called “backfire effect,” the idea (popular in the media) that “when a claim aligns with someone’s ideological beliefs, telling them that it’s wrong will actually make them...

2 Days Ago   Humanitarian crisis journalism can be tough to read if you don’t have to do it for your job. And the organizations that publish it have struggled to make it work financially, even if they’re nonprofits.

4 Days Ago   Two weeks ago, when Spirited Media announced it was getting out of the local news publishing business, it looked to many like a bad omen for the small group of companies trying to build metro-level, mobile-first, millennial-seeking, but relatively low-cost news outlets.

8 Days Ago   Yellow vests, fake news, wide spread. The global activist organization Avaaz released a report on how fake news has spread on Facebook around France’s Yellow Jacket anti-government movement.

8 Days Ago   Reports about the use of automated news in journalism usually tend to include some kind of “relax-your-job-isn’t-being-taken-by-a-machine” disclaimer, and a report from WAN-IFRA out this week is no exception.

11 Days Ago   Diverse staff → diverse coverage → new audience members and engagement → $$$. Even when news organizations claim to believe that, they often don’t do it.

11 Days Ago   How will artificial intelligence change society? How should journalists cover it? And how can AI actually be helpful to newsrooms and reporters? Seven organizations are getting a combined $750,000 in funding to help answer these questions, the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, a joint project of the MIT Media Lab and Harvard’s Berkman Klein...

12 Days Ago   The state of Minnesota is home to nearly 500,000 immigrants, and the state has a much larger proportion of Asian and African immigrants than the rest of the United States: It is the home of the largest Somali population in the U.S., and the second-largest Hmong population.

14 Days Ago   BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti released a strategy memo Friday (timed to line up with his panel at SXSW) that outlined what he sees ahead for BuzzFeed in the coming year.

15 Days Ago   What would Facebook’s turn to privacy mean for misinformation? This week Mark Zuckerberg published his “privacy-focused vision” for Facebook, writing, “I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network…I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely...

16 Days Ago   On Wednesday morning, commuters in NYC’s Union Square, Penn Station, and Herald Square could get BuzzFeed, the print edition, on their way out of the subway.

22 Days Ago   Here are two truths and a lie. Which one is the lie? 1. Pedophiles are taking advantage of YouTube’s algorithm to spread child pornography. 2. Children and teens are being encouraged to commit suicide via footage sliced into YouTube videos.

23 Days Ago   “Hi. I’m Niecy Nash, actress, inventor, and advocate for not calling 911 on black people for no goddamn reason.” “Introducing Aftershot, the only app that helps a bunch of assholes figure out when to talk about gun reform.” These feel like lines pulled from SNL commercial parodies.

24 Days Ago   Providing readers with supplementary information on how a journalist approached a story seems to be effective in building reader trust of the news organization, according to a study out Tuesday from the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin.

25 Days Ago   Casey Newton’s unprecedented investigation into the contract workers who moderate content on Facebook in America is full with horrifying, dystopian tidbits. Horrifying like: Workers are getting PTSD from repeatedly watching videos of murders in which the victims cry for their mothers as they die.

29 Days Ago   “Freedom of speech versus freedom of reach.” Pinterest got a positive spate of publicity Thursday as a couple different outlets reported on its policy (“which the company hasn’t previously publicly discussed but which went into effect late last year,” per The Wall Street Journal) of refusing to surface certain “polluted” terms like “vaccine” and “suicide”...

30 Days Ago   The dismal factoids in a new report released Thursday by the Women’s Media Center go on and on. And on. While women outnumber men in journalism programs and in colleges, they represent just 41.7 percent of newsroom employees, according to the 2018 diversity survey by the American Society of News Editors.

31 Days Ago   Companies like Facebook are behaving like “digital gangsters,” British parliament said in a final report on disinformation and fake news released on Sunday after 18 months of work, and it’s time to rein them in. “We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people.

32 Days Ago   The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will provide a whopping $300 million over five years to organizations including the American Journalism Project, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and and ProPublica, the foundation announced Tuesday.

35 Days Ago   Would more young people watch local TV news if it looked more like a Vox video and less like, uh, local TV news? It’s worth a try, according to a report released by Shorenstein and Northeastern this week.

36 Days Ago   How much should we freak out about anti-vaxxers? WHO named anti-vaxxers one of the top 10 global health threats for 2019. But is the threat from internet crazies overblown?

38 Days Ago   2019 is a general election year in Canada (as it is in many countries around the world), and the Toronto Star wanted to be on top of the misinformation and disinformation efforts that will almost inevitably arise as voting day draws closer.

39 Days Ago   A profile of hyperlocal news site Patch pops up once a year or so, and here’s the latest one, from Recode’s Peter Kafka. A few tidbits: — Patch is profitable (and has been for a few years — the company also said it was profitable in early 2016 and in mid-2017).

8d7f5b8901edec029a1d319e647d0fde 8d7f5b8901