WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sat - 01.11.2014


accountability

Timu is a Swahili word which means "team:" team being the core principle of the new platform the Italian <ahref Foundation recently launched.

Timu is a publishing platform for crowdsourced information and its main feature is to apply a common research method which is then recognised by a specific icon that websites and blogs can display in their homepage, to declare they are following that method.

The Timu hallmark is an assessment of a shared working methodology based on the core standards for high quality information: accuracy, impartiality, independence, legality.

This means providing accurate information, facts and data, being as impartial as possible, publishing a disclaimer for any possible conflict of interests involved in the article or in the subject of the article, acting in the shadow of legality and respecting fundamental liberties as well as privacy rights.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-12-15 16:23

The Internet is a vast mine of information; the problem is, not all of it is accurate. For journalists, accuracy is everything. The question of proving the authenticity of journalistic material is a seemingly an ever-increasing burden.

There has been much debate about which system for verifying social media reports is the most effective - is tweet first, ask questions later the best policy? ITV News recently fell foul of this tendency to immediately share information without authentication when it broadcast a piece of footage from a videogame believing it to be an IRA video.

The problem of verification of information is not simply a problem for journalists, though. The satirical news network The Onion recently posted a series of tweets claiming the US Congress had taken school children hostage for the sum of $12 Trillion. This caused confusion, uncertainty and outrage from some who felt the comedy group had gone a little too far. Of course, The Onion only ever publishes satire, but the confusion and the irate reactions to such material are quickly amplified and disseminated via the web.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-30 17:20

Bill Adair is Washington Bureau Chief for The St Petersburg Times and Editor of Politifact, a fact-checking website with a cheeky tone. He speaks here about the importance of accountability journalism, the changing face of the media and how presenting the facts behind the news can be like 'getting people to eat their vegetables'.

Politifact is best known for its 'truth-o-meter', a scale that rates the accuracy of statements made by politicians and lobbyists. At the top end, accurate assertions are labeled 'true' while at the bottom people who tell barefaced lies are named and shamed: 'pants on fire'.

Politifact was launched in 2007 as part of the St Petersburg Times. It proved so popular that it now has several subsidiary state websites and is affiliated with nine other papers around the US. In the wake of its success a number of other US publications, including The Washington Post, have started fact-checking services. Politifact was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

Bill Adair will be speaking at the World Editors Forum, which will be held in Vienna from 12 - 15 October, in a session on 'Looking beyond the article,' exploring new ways to tell news stories.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-08-22 12:49

The huge potentiality offered to news media by social media and social networks have already been widely discussed.

But does the overwhelming tide of information have any consequences on the credibility of online news?

Writing for (y)EU, the collective blog of the Web-team of the European Parliament, published an article addressing the issue. The article cited Edelman's media guru Steve Rubel who said that the word recognized as the Oxford Word of the Year 2009 - which was "unfriend" - marked the passage from the "democratization" of the internet to the "accreditation" era.

People don't know how to survive in the jungle of information online and they are turning to experts and specialists to guide them, says the article. If in 2006 the main source of trust was "people like me, my peer", in 2010 academic, experts, CEOS, NGOs and government representatives gained positions.

The article goes on noting that this is far form being the end of social media, of course, but that it means that to be credible and influential and to stand out from the wave it's necessary to build a sort of "digital authority".

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-05 18:29

Every day media outlets take decisions about what is newsworthy and what is not. Some news is necessarily left out. But what about when this news is quite major and is left out by just one news organization? It may well appear that that news was ignored voluntarily.

Such suspicions were raised by NBC News not reporting the story of General Electric Co. earned $14.2 billion in worldwide profits last year, including $5.1 billion in the United States, and paid exactly zero dollars in federal taxes, as the Washington Post reported.

The story got the front pages of many news sites but, surprisingly, wasn't even cited by any NBC's top-rated nightly newscasts or its leading Sunday public-affairs program, "Meet the Press".

Did NBC's silence have anything to do with the fact that one of its parent companies is General Electric?, wondered the Post.

"This was a straightforward editorial decision, the kind we make daily around here," said Lauren Kapp, spokeswoman for NBC News, quoted in the article.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-01 16:42

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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