Вслед за Россией

“In September, I returned to Moscow, this time with The Wall Street Journal, only to find fake news sites and ‘stories’ more sophisticated and streamlined than before.”

The thinking goes that Russia follows the West. But it’s the other way around.

In 2013, when Edward Snowden leaked revelations that the U.S. government was peering into the personal lives of Americans, the world was aghast. I wasn’t. While working as a reporter for Reuters in Russia (between 2007 and 2011), government surveillance was part and parcel of our lives. Nothing was sacred. As foreigners, we accepted that our emails, telephone calls, and text messages were most likely being monitored, or could be at any moment. Russians did, too. It was cumbersome and inconvenient, but we even managed to joke about it sometimes.

amie-ferris-rotmanHaving reared its ugly head in the U.S. presidential election, the world is now affronted with fake news. (Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump for president received a lot of attention, as did a story that Hillary Clinton sold weapons to Islamic State. A slew of tweets by Trump himself turned out to be fake.) It looks like bogus media is here to stay.

Again, the Russians have excelled at this for years. In the murky, self-censored, and often impenetrable world of the Russian press, fake news has proliferated.

In September, I returned to Moscow, this time with The Wall Street Journal, only to find fake news sites and “stories” more sophisticated and streamlined than before. This is extremely dangerous: When the spurious becomes indistinguishable from genuine news, society becomes one big, moving conspiracy theory. Rules are bent and ethics become hazy.

According to a major BuzzFeed survey released last week, 75 percent of American adults are fooled by fake news headlines. Fake news has even led to shots being fired: “Pizzagate” involved a delusional man who “self-investigated” phony news stories about a child sex ring run by Democrats in a Washington restaurant. The 28-year-old drove up from North Carolina with an assault rifle seeking to save children trapped inside.

Hillary Clinton, often the vilified object of fake news, last week called it “a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.” Germany, wary of the reach of fake news in its own upcoming national elections, is pushing for penalties on misinformation campaigns. Facebook’s recent decision to create a new position as head of news partnerships is welcome, and we need other major information companies to follow suit.

Going into 2017, we must be more scrupulous readers, listeners, and watchers. We must double and triple source our news. We must try to restore trust in the media worldwide.

Amie Ferris-Rotman is senior correspondent at The Wall Street Journal’s Moscow bureau and founder of Sahar Speaks.

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   News after advertising may look like news before advertising

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Trushar Barot   API or die

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Anita Zielina   The sales funnel reaches (and changes) the newsroom

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Earn trust by working for (and with) readers

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Nushin Rashidian   A rise in high-price, high-value subscriptions

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Richard J. Tofel   The country doesn’t trust us — but they do believe us

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Lam Thuy Vo   The primary source in the age of mechanical multiplication

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Maria Bustillos   “It’s true — I saw it on Facebook”

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Mario Garcia   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Tressie McMillan Cottom   A path through the media’s coming legitimacy crisis

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls