Misinformation and trust in media

The Council on Foreign Relations posts news stories from around the world. Photo from The Council on Foreign Relation’s site.

The Council on Foreign Relations host many informational webinars for journalist. Watch the video above for context.

This webinar with Daniel Acosta-Ramos, Irina A. Faskianos, Joy Mayer and Clara Anne Robbins discuss misinformation and trust in the media. The webinar sets the scene with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and segues into other sources of misinformation. Social media’s influence, local journalism and ways to gain trust were also discussed. Here are five takeaways from the webinar:

  1. There are countless unethical sources. The whole journalism industry can not be defended. But Joy Mayer said, “If you do mission-driven, responsible, ethical, professional journalism, you need to explain to people what sets you apart from the rest.”
  2. Fact-checking is essential. Journalists have to hold one another accountable, especially on social media accounts like Twitter.
  3. Understanding facilitates trust. Especially in local journalism, reporters must be transparent with the communities they work for and understand their perspectives.
  4. Hot topics are common sources of mistrust. COVID-19 and presidential elections often lead to biases, both from journalists and the public. It is important for journalists to report both sides to every story.
  5. Media literacy is key. The only way the public can distinguish fact from fiction is by being taught media literacy standards. 

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