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June 25, 2018, 12:25 p.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK: www.apple.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   June 25, 2018

“We won’t shy away from controversial topics, but our goal is to illuminate, not enrage,” read a note from Apple News editor-in-chief Lauren Kern announcing the platform’s dedicated 2018 midterms section. “And we’ll always steer clear of rumor and propaganda. These elections matter. Every vote matters. And now, more than ever, trustworthy, accurate information matters. That’s what you’ll find here.”

Apple News, which is expanding to desktop, is seizing the moment of fear and confusion among readers over how much “fake news” (and what actually is fake news) they come across, and among news organizations of how little their audiences trust their work. Instead of promoting automation and algorithms or scale and speed, it’s highlighting the tightly controlled, “well-sourced, fact-based stories” news and information it’ll deliver to Apple News users around the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, “with breaking news, exclusive highlights and analysis from reliable sources selected by Apple News’ team of experienced editors.”

Human editors (the whole section is branded as “Spotlight 2018: Midterm Elections, from the Apple News Editors”)! Working closely with a chosen handful of publishers on visually appealing elections coverage that works well within the Apple News ecosystem! The Washington Post, for instance, is working with Apple News on special design treatment for an “Election Now” dashboard within the app that presents data for and contextualizes various primary races across the country (I played with it; it looks great. Now if only I could stop having to log into my Post subscription constantly from my Twitter, Slack, Nuzzel, Facebook, and Apple News apps). Axios is offering a weekly briefing on the platform.

The general sources Apple News editors have selected as trusted, at launch, are a limited, recognizable bunch: An exclusive from Axios on the swing voters of 2018, a feature from Politico on the congressional races whose outcomes will change the future of immigration policy, a curated section with different perspectives on guns in America featuring analysis and opinion from writers from The Atlantic, HuffPost and The New York Times. Reporting from Vox. Fox News coverage of the South Carolina gubernatorial contest, as well as featured reporting from South Carolina daily newspaper The State. (The inclusion of Fox News, one of the most politically polarizing outlets in the country, turned the usual heads.)

The section will be available through November of this year to U.S. Apple News users.

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