U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

It’s frustrating and terrifying that the current cultural climate makes this website necessary. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is a project that aims to comprehensively document press freedom incidents in the United States — such as the arrests of journalists, seizures of their equipment, interrogations and searches at the U.S. border, subpoenas to testify about sources, leak prosecutions and physical attacks. The Press Freedom Tracker documents cases across the country,…

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Facebook Updates its Fight Against Fake News

The only reason Facebook is paying attention to fake news is because it wants to monetize real news. (Monetize = control.) After initially dismissing the idea that Facebook plays a role in disseminating fake news, the company and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been working to remedy the problem. Facebook partnered with third-party fact-checkers such as Snopes and PolitiFact, introducing alerts that warn users of articles on the site that include…

What happens to local news when there is no local media to cover it?

The pressures on local news outlets have been building for years, driven by the twin devils of recession and the disruption caused by the shift to digital media. The impact was noted in a federal study in 2011. It concluded, “A shortage of reporting manifests itself in invisible ways: stories not written, scandals not exposed, government waste not discovered, health dangers not identified in time, local elections involving candidates about…

Student Journalists Are Our Future—We Should Start Treating Them Like It

Catherine Palmer was already a seasoned student journalist at The Johns Hopkins News-Letter when Freddie Gray, a Baltimore native and black man, died in police custody, provoking protests across the city that swelled into what would be called the Baltimore Uprising. Even so, she was only 19 when she found herself one of the first reporters on the ground at a pivotal moment in April 2015, thrust onto the scene to cover…

Real or Fake? (News Game)

Real or fake? At a time when the reading public daily grapples with the question of fake news, the American University Game Lab/JOLT has created an accessible, easy-to-play game that helps you sort fake news from real. The brainchild of former AU JOLT Fellow Maggie Farley and designed by AU game professor Bob Hone, Factitious is a quick game that can be played on any platform.