Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Why do people share misinformation about Covid-19? Partly because they’re distracted
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What We’re Reading
We keep an eye out for the most interesting stories about Labby subjects: digital media, startups, the web, journalism, strategy, and more. Here’s some of what we’ve seen lately.
July 2, 2020
“Deputies voted to allow a one-off deduction of up to €50 to households subscribing for the first time, and for at least 12 months, to a newspaper, magazine or online news service ‘providing news of a general or political character.'”
The Guardian / Jon Henley / Jul 2
July 1, 2020
“The portraits will be displayed as large vinyl posters on the museum’s outdoor facade, where passersby can see them, even in the middle of a pandemic when the museum has reopened but with limited capacity inside. Occupying 27 9-foot panels along the museum’s wall, the photography installation also includes recorded audio from many of the people featured, literally making their voices heard. It will remain on view through mid-September.”
ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News / Adriana Gallardo and Michelle Theriault Boots / Jul 1
‘When we survey readers, you tell us you are inundated with information, short on time, low on trust, and eager to understand what’s important without feeling like you’ve got homework, managing editor Kira Bindrim said. “You worry that your news consumption must be either disappointingly shallow (Twitter) or dauntingly deep (stacks of unread magazines). Our homepage aims for a sweet spot, making you a little smarter about a lot of things while opening plenty of doors to learn more.”
Quartz / Kira Bindrim / Jul 1
A new series by First Draft explores why we’re susceptible to misinformation, the psychology behind correcting it, and how to prevent misinformation: “Though psychological concepts originate in academia, many have found their way into everyday language. Cognitive dissonance, first described in 1957, is one; confirmation bias is another. And this is part of the problem. Just as we have armchair epidemiologists, we can easily become armchair cognitive scientists, and mischaracterization of these concepts can create new forms of misinformation.”
First Draft / Tommy Shane / Jul 1
At least 45 brands are boycotting Facebook over its policies on removing hurtful posts and misinformation.
Adweek / Adweek Staff / Jul 1
“The Daily Show’s digital team doesn’t work separately from its TV staff; rather, they’re tightly integrated. A joke that does well on social media sometimes gets adapted into a Trevor Noah segment later that night. The digital staff also built joke websites that Noah plugged during the show. After the Ted Cruz presidential campaign uploaded hours of campaign footage to YouTube, Noah encouraged his viewers to go online and remix the footage into funny videos. He later featured the best videos during the TV airing. “
Simon Owens's Tech and Media Newsletter / Simon Owens / Jul 1
“The basic rhythms of the news cycle don’t help us. Each day’s news must fill the same amount of column space, the same number of cable-news hours, the same length of radio news bulletin. Usually, the most important of that news is hyped in all-caps headlines, blaring chyrons, and ‘BREAKING NEWS’ jingles—this exerts a flattening effect, making it harder, over a long period of time, to distinguish actual news from attention hustling.”
Columbia Journalism Review / Jon Allsop / Jul 1
“As the media ecosystem contracts amid coronavirus, Substack has been thrust into an uncomfortable role — that of a savior. And as more writers go solo, the question has emerged as to whether Substack can become the kind of monetization system that never materialized during the last major internet writer-driven movement, the halcyon days of the early blogging era of the 2000s.”
Digiday / Steven Perlberg / Jul 1
“There’s a lack of diversity at the top, and they are the ones profiting the most directly off of Black culture.”
Digiday / Tim Peterson / Jul 1
“To the extent that salient, substantive answers are given to reporters during these conversations, it’s often done in a way that minimizes the reporter’s ability to actually transmit that information to their readers.”
Columbia Journalism Review / Jacob Silverman / Jul 1