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Articles by Joshua Benton

Joshua Benton founded Nieman Lab in 2008 and served as its director until 2020; he is now the Lab’s senior writer. Before spending a year at Harvard as a 2008 Nieman Fellow, he spent a decade in newspapers, mostly at The Dallas Morning News. His reports on cheating on standardized tests in the Texas public schools led to the permanent shutdown of a school district and won the Philip Meyer Journalism Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has reported from a dozen foreign countries, been a Pew Fellow in International Journalism, and three times been a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting. Before Dallas, he was a reporter and occasional rock critic for The Toledo Blade. He wrote his first HTML in January 1994.
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“The story is less at [the U.S. Department of Justice] than with sheriffs and prosecutors at the local level, mostly the county level.” But how do you tell that story when local news is in decline?
The tech giant wants to let some app developers make money on the web — but take 27% of the revenue they generate along the way. But publishers should still have access to a better deal.
Its new owner, Sinclair executive chairman David D. Smith, has pushed local TV news hard to the right. Will he do the same with newspapers — a medium he’s called “so left wing as to be meaningless dribble…so devoid of reality and serving no real purpose”?
A new study asked thousands to evaluate the accuracy of news articles — both real and fake — by doing some research online. But for many, heading to Google led them farther from the truth, not closer.
That an AI model was trained on copyrighted material does not make all of the model’s outputs a copyright violation.
Swinging from an $80 billion valuation to an existential crisis, in less time than it takes to rewatch five seasons of “The Wire”? That’s Tronc-level management.
Now on firmer financial ground, the U.K. newspaper seems more aware of its strengths — and of the strengths of the print medium.
“At the time of this writing, it is difficult to avoid the realization that one side of politics — mainly in the U.S. but also elsewhere — appears more threatened by research into misinformation than by the risks to democracy arising from misinformation itself.”
“Given the sensitive nature of the news during a widening conflict, and the prominent promotion it received, Times editors should have taken more care with the initial presentation, and been more explicit about what information could be verified.”