Digital media fights fake news


In a time of record low credibility ratings for global media, comes encouraging news from three places where reliable coverage is sorely needed.

It's never been easier for those in power to discredit the media. Leaders roll their eyes and shout "fake news". That's all it takes in an era when commercial pressure and the hunt for social media likes has driven so much media to meaningless clickbait and empty populism.

It's easy to despair about the future of our industry, but take heart from a report on three media organisations that are going in a much healthier direction.

ABC alumnus Julie Posetti is lead author on Lessons in Innovation: How International News Organisations Combat Disinformation through Mission-Driven Journalism

The report is published by the Journalism Innovation Project at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.

It considers innovative reporting and storytelling practices developed in response to growing disinformation problems, and is based on field observation and interviews at Rappler in the Philippines, Daily Maverick in South Africa, and The Quint in India.

Julie Posetti Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

The Maverick: a vital independent South African voice

Dr Posetti and co-authors Felix Simon and Nabeelah Shabbir show that all three organisations are finding new ways of identifying and countering disinformation, based on a combination of investigative journalism, fact-checking, data and social network analysis.

Each is developing new capacities and skills, sharing them across the newsroom, differentiating themselves from their competitors, and potentially increasing their long-term sustainability in ways the authors believe other news media worldwide could learn from.

Read more and download the report