20200
P
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20100
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2070
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2050
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2040
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2020
I  S  M  2  0  2  0
7

A renewed focus on misinformation

“As everyone focuses on granular accuracy, the media outlets that have a truly diverse and inclusive reporting staff will distinguish themselves by simply doing stories that have broad impact and gain the trust of new audiences.”

This won’t just be a presidential election year — it will be a post-impeachment year. Those two events will bookend what’s likely to be a never-ending flood of news from Washington and the broader political sphere. We’ll all be scrambling to parse information while swiftly sharing easily digestible stories with a broad audience.

What will that mean? A renewed focus on misinformation. News operations will have to build more tools and workflows that focus on verifying photos, videos, documents, and other information. (The Times is focusing on this in our news report, of course, and also in our R&D team’s Provenance Project.) And as an extension of this effort to parse what’s actually happening, we’ll all be working to get a better understanding of the sources of misinformation, which is often circulated beyond legacy social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We’ll be making sure that our news reports are all informed by the conversation that’s happening beyond platforms that journalists frequent.

Credibility is not earned solely by the ability to verify that a viral video is real, of course. All of our reports benefit from journalists who have different backgrounds and as a result can surface fresh themes that may have been overlooked in the past. So as everyone focuses on granular accuracy, the media outlets that have a truly diverse and inclusive reporting staff will distinguish themselves by simply doing stories that have broad impact and gain the trust of new audiences.

Finally, this dramatic era means that subscribers are willing to pay a premium for quality news. But as the industry embraces a subscription model, quite a few players may find that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some media outlets will still subsist on advertising, some on nonprofit funding, and still others will find a reliable revenue stream that nobody is talking about yet.

Accuracy, diversity, and finding more ways to sustain our business will be the themes of the very newsy year ahead.

Monica Drake is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times.

This won’t just be a presidential election year — it will be a post-impeachment year. Those two events will bookend what’s likely to be a never-ending flood of news from Washington and the broader political sphere. We’ll all be scrambling to parse information while swiftly sharing easily digestible stories with a broad audience.

What will that mean? A renewed focus on misinformation. News operations will have to build more tools and workflows that focus on verifying photos, videos, documents, and other information. (The Times is focusing on this in our news report, of course, and also in our R&D team’s Provenance Project.) And as an extension of this effort to parse what’s actually happening, we’ll all be working to get a better understanding of the sources of misinformation, which is often circulated beyond legacy social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We’ll be making sure that our news reports are all informed by the conversation that’s happening beyond platforms that journalists frequent.

Credibility is not earned solely by the ability to verify that a viral video is real, of course. All of our reports benefit from journalists who have different backgrounds and as a result can surface fresh themes that may have been overlooked in the past. So as everyone focuses on granular accuracy, the media outlets that have a truly diverse and inclusive reporting staff will distinguish themselves by simply doing stories that have broad impact and gain the trust of new audiences.

Finally, this dramatic era means that subscribers are willing to pay a premium for quality news. But as the industry embraces a subscription model, quite a few players may find that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some media outlets will still subsist on advertising, some on nonprofit funding, and still others will find a reliable revenue stream that nobody is talking about yet.

Accuracy, diversity, and finding more ways to sustain our business will be the themes of the very newsy year ahead.

Monica Drake is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times.

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