👓 59 percent of links shared on social media have never actually been clicked, study finds | The Independent

Read 6 in 10 of you will share this link without reading it (The Independent)
'These sort of blind peer-to-peer shares are really important in determining what news gets circulated and what just fades off the public radar'
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🔖 The Oxygen of Amplification | Data & Society

Bookmarked The Oxygen of Amplification: Better Practices for Reporting on Extremists, Antagonists, and Manipulators by Whitney Phillips (Data & Society)

New Data & Society report recommends editorial “better practices” for reporting on online bigots and manipulators; interviews journalists on accidental amplification of extreme agendas

This report draws on in-depth interviews by scholar Whitney Phillips to showcase how news media was hijacked from 2016 to 2018 to amplify the messages of hate groups.

Offering extremely candid comments from mainstream journalists, the report provides a snapshot of an industry caught between the pressure to deliver page views, the impulse to cover manipulators and “trolls,” and the disgust (expressed in interviewees’ own words) of accidentally propagating extremist ideology.

After reviewing common methods of “information laundering” of radical and racist messages through the press, Phillips uses journalists’ own words to propose a set of editorial “better practices” intended to reduce manipulation and harm.

As social and digital media are leveraged to reconfigure the information landscape, Phillips argues that this new domain requires journalists to take what they know about abuses of power and media manipulation in traditional information ecosystems; and apply and adapt that knowledge to networked actors, such as white nationalist networks online.

This work is the first practitioner-focused report from Data & Society’s Media Manipulation Initiative, which examines how groups use the participatory culture of the internet to turn the strengths of a free society into vulnerabilities.

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👓 Civix Releases New Online Media Literacy Videos | Hapgood

Replied to Civix Releases New Online Media Literacy Videos by Mike Caulfield (Hapgood)
I worked with Civix, a Canadian non-profit, to do a series of videos showing students basic web techniques for source verification and contextualization. I had boiled it down to four scripts runnin…

As I read this and tinker around a bit with some of the resources, including one for canadafactcheck.ca mentioned within one of the videos and add the “Wikipedia” to the Omnibar or try the “-site:” trick, the results there aren’t very solid themselves. Similarly a search for NewsWise.ca is rough because there are dozens of similar products with the same name which makes me think about the phrase “Doctor heal thyself.”

On the idea of the “-site:xyz.com” trick, perhaps one could create a browser extension or a bookmarklet that would use javascript to take the URL in the browser bar and massage it to return the requisite string and then execute the appropriate search so that with a simple click of a button, anyone can “remember” how to do it?

Similarly with searching for the root URLs of particular outlets by clipping off the longer paths of URLs one could use a browser bookmarklet to accomplish this with a simple click and save the seconds involved with highlighting and pasting? The more dead simple and quicker it can be, the better off we are. I’ve documented a browser bookmarklet on my site that trims news article URLs down to the base URL: https://boffosocko.com/2017/03/27/to-amp-or-not-to-amp-that-is-the-question/

As an example of this type of functionality, albiet probably with a lot more programming and manual work, Brill’s company NewsGuard has developed a Chrome browser extension that is meant to provide visual indicators on pages and in search for levels of fact checking: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/newsguard/hcgajcpgaalgpeholhdooeddllhedegi?hl=en

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👓 Steven Brill’s NewsGuard wants to evaluate where you get your news | CNN

Read This start-up wants to evaluate your news sources (CNNMoney)
News Guard wants to grade websites using green, yellow, or red ratings and "nutrition labels" with more detailed information.
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👓 A Roll-Up of Digipo Resources (4 September 2018) | Hapgood

Read A Roll-Up of Digipo Resources (4 September 2018) by Mike CaulfieldMike Caulfield (Hapgood)
One of the nice things about running a blog-fueled grassroots semi-funded initiative is the agility. The Digipo project has moved far and fast in the past year. But one of the bad things is all the…
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📺 Online Verification Skills — Video 4: Look for Trusted Work | NewsWise | YouTube

Watched Online Verification Skills — Video 4: Look for Trusted Work by Mike CaulfieldMike Caulfield from NewsWise | YouTube

“It’s the internet! You can go out and find a better story and invest your time in that.” –Mike Caulfield

📺 Online Verification Skills — Video 2: Investigate the Source | NewsWise | YouTube

Watched Online Verification Skills — Video 2: Investigate the Source by Mike CaulfieldMike Caulfield from NewsWise | YouTube

NewsWise is a news literacy program to provide school-aged Canadians an understanding of the role of journalism in a healthy democracy and the tools to find and filter information online.

For those who like browser bookmarklets and shortcuts, I’ve dug up some code that will take a URL and automatically remove the additional path (as demonstrated manually in the video) to leave you with the base URL. It can be found here on my site: https://boffosocko.com/2017/03/27/to-amp-or-not-to-amp-that-is-the-question/. Perhaps it will help people verify sites even quicker?

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📺 Online Verification Skills — Video 1: Introductory Video | NewsWise | YouTube

Watched Online Verification Skills — Video 1: Introductory Video by Mike CaulfieldMike Caulfield from NewsWise | YouTube

The Stanford research report, Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information, can be found here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3048994

NewsWise is a news literacy program to provide school-aged Canadians an understanding of the role of journalism in a healthy democracy and the tools to find and filter information online. Visit http://newswise.ca/ for more information and resources. NewsWise is the product of a partnership between CIVIX and the Canadian Journalism Foundation, with the support of the Google.org Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation.

👓 The Persistent Myth of Insurmountable Tribalism Will Kill Us All | Hapgood

Read The Persistent Myth of Insurmountable Tribalism Will Kill Us All by Mike CaulfieldMike Caulfield (Hapgood)
You know what I don’t see in my classes — in a Republican district, where a nontrivial number of students don’t believe in climate change? Any reaction of the sort that you “can’t trust the site because declining sea ice and climate change is a myth.” Not one. It’s not just a Republican thing. We find the same thing with prompts for liberal hot-button issues on GMOs. Students — many of whom are very committed to “natural” products and lifestyles — make accurate assessments of the lack of credibility of sites supporting their opinions. They believe this stuff, maybe, but admit the given site is not a good source.

After some of the depression of reading the entire Knight Foundation paper last night, this short vignette about Mike’s work in the trenches gives me a lot of hope. I wish I had read it last night before retiring.

I’ll be bookmarking some additional sources today/tomorrow from the paper as well as from Mike’s work and various links.

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👓 How Students Engage with News: Five Takeaways for Educators, Journalists, and Librarians | Project Information Literacy Research Institute

Read How Students Engage with News: Five Takeaways for Educators, Journalists, and Librarians [.pdf] by Alison J. Head, John Wihbey, P. Takis Metaxas, Margy MacMillan, and Dan Cohen (Project Information Literacy Research Institute)
Abstract: The News Study research report presents findings about how a sample of U.S. college students gather information and engage with news in the digital age. Results are included from an online survey of 5,844 respondents and telephone interviews with 37 participants from 11 U.S. colleges and universities selected for their regional, demographic, and red/blue state diversity. A computational analysis was conducted using Twitter data associated with the survey respondents and a Twitter panel of 135,891 college-age people. Six recommendations are included for educators, journalists, and librarians working to make students effective news consumers. To explore the implications of this study’s findings, concise commentaries from leading thinkers in education, libraries, media research, and journalism are included.

A great little paper about how teens and college students are finding, reading, sharing, and generally interacting with news. There’s some nice overlap here on both the topics of journalism and education which I find completely fascinating. In general, however, I think in a few places students are mis-reporting their general uses, so I’m glad a portion of the paper actually looks at data from Twitter in the wild to see what real world use cases actually are.

Perhaps there are some interesting segments and even references relevant to the topics of education and IndieWeb for Greg McVerry‘s recent project?

As I read this, I can’t help but think of some things I’ve seen Michael Caulfield writing about news and social media over the past several months. As I look, I notice that he’s already read and written a bit about a press release for this particular paper. I’ll have to take a look at his take on it tomorrow. I’m particularly interested in any insights he’s got on lateral reading and fake news above and beyond his prior thoughts.

Perhaps I missed it hiding in there reading so late at night, but another potentially good source for this paper’s recommended section would be Caulfield’s book Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The purpose of this study was to better understand the preferences, practices, and motivations of young news consumers, while focusing on what students actually do, rather than what they do not do.  

October 22, 2018 at 08:28PM

YouTube (54%), Instagram (51%) or Snapchat (55%)  

I’m curious to know which sources in particular they’re using on these platforms. Snapchat was growing news sources a year ago, but I’ve heard those sources are declining. What is the general quality of these sources?

For example, getting news from television can range from PBS News Hour and cable news networks (more traditional sources) to comedy shows like Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah which have some underlying news in the comedy, but are far from traditional sources.
October 22, 2018 at 08:35PM

Some students (28%) received news from podcasts in the preceding week.  

October 22, 2018 at 08:38PM

news is stressful and has little impact on the day-to-day routines —use it for class assignments, avoid it otherwise.” While a few students like this one practiced news abstinence, such students were rare.  

This sounds a bit like my college experience, though I didn’t avoid it because of stressful news (and there wasn’t social media yet). I generally missed it because I didn’t subscribe directly to publications or watch much television. Most of my news consumption was the local college newspaper.
October 22, 2018 at 08:46PM

But on the Web, stories of all kinds can show up anywhere and information and news are all mixed together. Light features rotate through prominent spots on the “page” with the same weight as breaking news, sports coverage, and investigative pieces, even on mainstream news sites. Advertorial “features” and opinion pieces are not always clearly identified in digitalspaces.  

This difference is one of the things I miss about reading a particular newspaper and experiencing the outlet’s particular curation of their own stories. Perhaps I should spend more time looking at the “front page” of various news sites?
October 22, 2018 at 08:57PM

Some (36%) said they agreed that the threat of “‘fake news’ had made them distrust the credibility of any news.” Almost half (45%) lacked confidence with discerning “real news” from “fake news,” and only 14% said they were “very confident” that they could detect “fake news.”  

These numbers are insane!
October 22, 2018 at 09:04PM

As a matter of recourse, some students in the study “read the news laterally,” meaning they used sources elsewhere on the Internet to compare versions of a story in an attempt to verify its facts, bias, and ultimately, its credibility.25  

This reminds me how much I miss the old daily analysis that Slate use to do for the day’s top news stories in various outlets in their Today’s Papers segment.
October 22, 2018 at 09:15PM

Some respondents, though not all, did evaluate the veracity of news they shared on social media. More (62%) said they checked to see how current an item was, while 59% read the complete story before sharing and 57% checked the URL to see where a story originated (Figure 7). Fewer read comments about a post (55%) or looked to see how many times an item was tweeted or shared (39%).  

I’m not sure I believe these self-reported numbers at all. 59% read the complete story before sharing?! 57% checked the URL? I’ll bet that not that many could probably define what a URL is.
October 22, 2018 at 10:00PM

information diet  

October 22, 2018 at 11:02PM

At the tactical level, there are likely many small things that could be tested with younger audiences to help them better orient themselves to the crowded news landscape. For example, some news organizations are more clearly identifying different types of content such as editorials, features, and backgrounders/news analysis.57More consistent and more obvious use of these typological tags would help all news consumers, not just youth, and could also travel with content as itis posted and shared in social media. News organizations should engage more actively with younger audiences to see what might be helpful.  

October 22, 2018 at 11:37PM

When news began moving into the first digital spaces in the early 1990s, pro-Web journalists touted the possibilities of hypertext links that would give news consumers the context they needed. Within a couple of years, hypertext links slowly began to disappear from many news stories. Today, hypertext links are all but gone from most mainstream news stories.  

October 22, 2018 at 11:38PM

“Solutions journalism’ is another promising trend that answers some of the respondents’ sense of helplessness in the face of the barrage of crisis coverage.62  

October 22, 2018 at 11:40PM

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👓 Slate’s Today’s Papers invented aggregation journalism. | Slate

Read Today’s Papers: Slate’s First Hit Feature Invented the Modern Web, Kind Of (Slate Magazine)
Its name suggests a slower-moving past, when much still depended on the morning thump of fresh-printed broadsheets landing on doorsteps. Its concept presaged a lightning-quick future, when much of what we read is attitude-laced summary of someone else’s work. It was Slate’s first smash-hit feature and, for better or worse, its most influential. “Today’s Papers,” says Michael Kinsley, Slate’s founding editor, “deserves some tiny bit of credit for the ruination of journalism.”

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

That enterprising writer could read the papers the moment they went online in the wee hours, summarize their lead stories and other juicy pieces, and post this briefing on Slate before the paperboys could toss physical copies onto driveways in Middle America’s cul-de-sacs.  

For me, it wasn’t so much the summary, but who was it that had the best coverage. It was the comparison of the coverage. I read most of the particular stories anyway.
October 22, 2018 at 09:28PM

The Today’s Papers job was first offered to Matt Drudge,  

October 22, 2018 at 09:29PM

Anyone can open up Twitter and instantly know what the world is gabbing about from minute to minute, all day long, across thousands of electronic sources that are instantly available all over the globe.  

But we don’t get the journalistic criticism of the coverage, who’s doing it better, who’s more thorough, etc. We’re still missing that.
October 22, 2018 at 09:32PM

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🔖 How Students Engage With News: Five Takeaways for Educators, Journalists, and Librarians | Project Information Literacy Research Institute

Bookmarked How Students Engage With News: Five Takeaways for Educators, Journalists, and Librarians by Alison J. Head, John Wihbey, P. Takis Metaxas, Margy MacMillan, and Dan Cohen (Project Information Literacy Research Institute)

Abstract: The News Study research report presents findings about how a sample of U.S. college students gather information and engage with news in the digital age. Results are included from an online survey of 5,844 respondents and telephone interviews with 37 participants from 11 U.S. colleges and universities selected for their regional, demographic, and red/blue state diversity. A computational analysis was conducted using Twitter data associated with the survey respondents and a Twitter panel of 135,891 college-age people. Six recommendations are included for educators, journalists, and librarians working to make students effective news consumers. To explore the implications of this study’s findings, concise commentaries from leading thinkers in education, libraries, media research, and journalism are included.

hat tip: Dan Cohen

telephone interviews with 37 participants  

I have to wonder at telephone samples of this age group given the propensity of youth to not communicate via voice phone.
October 22, 2018 at 08:15PM

Major Findings (2:35 minutes)  

I’m quite taken with the variety of means this study is using to communicate its findings. There are blogposts, tweets/social posts, a website, executive summaries, the full paper, and even a short video! I wish more studies went to these lengths.
October 22, 2018 at 08:19PM

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👓 What We Learned from Studying the News Consumption Habits of College Students | Dan Cohen

Read What We Learned from Studying the News Consumption Habits of College Students by Dan CohenDan Cohen (Dan Cohen)
Over the last year, I was fortunate to help guide a study of the news consumption habits of college students, and coordinate Northeastern University Library’s services for the study, including great work by our data visualization specialist Steven Braun and necessary infrastructure from our digital team, including Sarah Sweeney and Hillary Corbett. “How Students Engage with News,” out today as both a long article and accompanying datasets and media, provides a full snapshot of how college students navigate our complex and high-velocity media environment.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Side note: After recently seeing Yale Art Gallery’s show “Seriously Funny: Caricature Through the Centuries,” I think there’s a good article to be written about the historical parallels between today’s visual memes and political cartoons from the past.  

This also makes me think back to other entertainments of the historical poor including the use/purpose of stained glass windows in church supposedly as a means of entertaining the illiterate Latin vulgate masses.
October 22, 2018 at 08:07PM

nearly 6,000 students from a wide variety of institutions  

Institutions = colleges/universities? Or are we also considering less educated youth as well?
October 22, 2018 at 08:08PM

A more active stance by librarians, journalists, educators, and others who convey truth-seeking habits is essential.  

In some sense these people can also be viewed as aggregators and curators of sorts. How can their work be aggregated and be used to compete with the poor algorithms of social media?
October 22, 2018 at 08:11PM

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👓 Bloomberg's TicToc is starting to build a brand beyond Twitter | Digiday

Read Bloomberg's TicToc is starting to build a brand beyond Twitter (Digiday)
Begun as a Twitter network, TicToc now includes a podcast and newsletter and is developing a website.
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