A new study says young Americans have a broad definition of news

I expect that many of my students will be living the experiences documented in this study of how young people encounter news; nevertheless, it’s difficult to notice your own environment if you can’t compare it to *different* environments. Because I grew up with the three TV network news shows and the copy of The Washington Post (my dad would pick it up in the driveway on his way out to…

Facebook Finally Rolls Out ‘Disputed News’ Tag Everyone Will Dispute

Anybody seen a post tagged this way? If so, I’d welcome a screenshot. On Friday, Facebook debuted its new flagging system for fake news in America, tagging hoax stories as “disputed” for some users. First announced amid criticism of the company for its role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election, the new feature uses non-partisan third parties to assess the factual accuracy of stories reported as fake by users.…

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Analysis | The ‘Kellyanne Conway on the couch’ controversy is so incredibly dumb

One photo from the event shows her scrolling through pictures on her phone. I’ve seen captions that suggest she is ignoring the people in he room, retreating to her social media bubble for comfort and self-affirmation. This photo shows she had placed herself in that awkward position to get a picture. There are scores or hundreds of legitimate reasons to criticize Kellyanne Conway. Her position on a couch is a…

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Down with Fake Politics! Down with Fake Government! Long Live the Free Press!

You can’t get much more American than Thomas Jefferson. He did not love every newspaper reporter on the planet; however, he wrote that, if forced to choose between government without newspapers or a newspaper without government, he would not hesitate to choose a newspaper without government (under certain very sensible conditions). The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to…

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White House Bars Times and Other News Outlets From Briefing

Kudos to the reporters from Time and AP who showed solidarity with the banned outlets. Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been…

Analysis | President Trump is losing his war with the media

My Media Aesthetics students are studying the power of fake news. This is good news for supporters of the First Amendment. A new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that while people may be broadly unhappy with the mainstream media, they still think it’s more credible than Trump. The president regularly accuses the press of “fake news,” but people see more “fake news” coming out of his own mouth. The poll…