You might have heard: What’s another word for misleading? How harmful misinformation hides behind euphemisms (Poynter)

But did you know: How fact-checking journalism is evolving – and having a real impact on the world (The Conversation)

Research shows that the global fact-checking community’s approach has evolved in ways that make them more effective, write Peter Cunliffe-Jones and Lucas Graves. Mitigating approaches such as “warning labels” attached to false online content reduces the spread of that information, and politicians have been shown to be more careful with their claims if they know they might be debunked. Fact-checking organizations are now more likely to contact media outlets or political campaigns to correct the record, and are working to intervene at a more structural level to promote a culture of accuracy. They are also partnering with open-government advocates, media literacy organizations and statistical agencies, effectively applying fact-checking best practices to policy and statistical analysis, as well.

+ Noted: X’s fresh temporary ban of several prominent journalists raises alarm (NBC)


TOMORROW: Burnout & Stress: How journalists can manage both in 2024

Join the National Press Club Journalism Institute at 11:30 am ET on Friday, Jan. 12, for a conversation focused on practical tips and effective methods for journalists and newsroom leaders to address stress and burnout. Samantha Ragland, API’s vice president of journalism programs, is a speaker at this free webinar. Register here.

API Tech Talks x Table Stakes: Engaging audiences amid social platform flux

Table Stakes alumni are invited to join the American Press Institute’s newsroom success manager, Shay Totten, in a conversation on how to engage local news audiences and find ways to build trust, loyalty and community amid social media uncertainty. You’ll come away with some concrete ideas — as well as a printable ‘zine — to start connecting with your community of readers. The virtual event will be held on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Not sure if your news organization is on the list? Check here.


Online news paywall inflation running at 20% in UK (Press Gazette)

An analysis of 23 leading UK paywalled publishers shows that the price of a subscription has risen by 19% over the last year, well ahead of the 5% national rate of inflation. The trend is driven in part by a sharp decline in online advertising revenue. The highest jumps in subscription costs were seen at Bloomberg (50%) and The Telegraph (42%). Several outlets actually decreased their subscription prices over the past year — The New European was down by 50%, while small drops were seen at the New Yorker and both New York Times and sister title The Athletic.


How to authentically ask for audience participation in newsletters (Reynolds Journalism Institute)

People tend to be more responsive to direct email than they are on news websites, making newsletters an ideal way to test engagement projects or learn more about audiences, say Institute for Nonprofit News’ Sam Cholke and Andrew Haeg. To build engagement while gathering audience information, it’s helpful to share data or responses from the survey with readers — for example, soliciting questions about a topic and then answering those questions with a low-lift FAQ or short paragraph. They also discuss the balance of survey frequency — too often and you may be asking too much of your audience, but too rarely and the data can turn old quickly. Keeping surveys lighter and continuous is a sweet spot, they say.


The post-election battle for Poland’s state-run media (Columbia Journalism Review)

Poland’s state-run TV station came under fire last year for spreading propaganda by the country’s far-right majority. When a coalition of minority parties won enough seats in last fall’s election to take control of Poland’s parliament, they vowed to reform the state-run media. An all-out fight has ensued — the outgoing party staged a sit-in at TV headquarters, while the new party took the channel off-air with a promise that it would return without propaganda. By the end of the year, three people claimed that they were the legitimate head of the network. The struggle for control of the outlets highlights the challenges of state media models — government-funded outlets more prone to influence, versus independently-funded outlets that must grapple with funding, sustainability and relevance.


Facebook traffic to news sites fell by 48% in 2023, report reveals (Hold the Front Page)

A new Reuters Institute study found that Facebook traffic to news websites fell by nearly half in 2023, and that trend is expected to continue. Traffic from X, formerly Twitter, fell by 27%. Looking ahead, news sites may start missing out on search traffic, too, as AI-powered results provide answers directly instead of linking to sources. In response to these trends, surveyed news leaders said they will focus on their direct channels, as well as WhatsApp and Instagram.


When journalism is a defense against despair (Nieman Storyboard)

We’re almost two weeks into the new year, but there’s already plenty to be anxious about or disappointed by in the news. Jacqui Banaszynski writes that she fights the instinct to tune out by viewing journalism as a defense against hopelessness. Consider the fact that writers and editors are working hard to tell these stories — even if they are disheartening. They use their compassion, even when the problems seem endless, and compassion can offer hope.

Just one of the gifts of a life in journalism is that it gives us something to do in the face of pain. We look without flinching at what’s happening. We listen. We verify. We inform. We educate. Sometimes we entertain. We do all this by telling stories — true stories. And those stories, no matter the content, are acts of compassion.

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