One way to combat the fake news culture is to report on it. When new research explained how false information spreads and why people share it, the Christian Science Monitor drew attention to that research. It can be empowering and effective to use the words fake news while redefining them.
To highlight their push for including multiple perspectives in stories, WITF added the following to the top of some web stories: "WITF strives to provide nuanced perspectives from the most authoritative sources. We are on the lookout for biases or assumptions in our own work, and we invite you to point out any we may have missed. Contact us on our Trusting News page."
To highlight their push for including multiple perspectives in stories, WITF added the following to the top of some web stories: “WITF strives to provide nuanced perspectives from the most authoritative sources. We are on the lookout for biases or assumptions in our own work, and we invite you to point out any we may have missed. Contact us on our Trusting News page.”
While working on a long-term investigative project about local law enforcement, WCPO thought about how their users may respond to the story once it was published. They realized they may get pushback for investigating police officers and decided to publish a story explaining why they are holding law enforcement accountable. They also highlight how being a watchdog is part of their mission as a news organization. The news team said the explainer story helped keep the focus on their reporting and what they uncovered instead of anti-cop rhetoric they were anticipating.
While working on a long-term investigative project about local law enforcement, WCPO thought about how their users may respond to the story once it was published. They realized they may get pushback for investigating police officers and decided to publish a story explaining why they are holding law enforcement accountable. They also highlight how being a watchdog is part of their mission as a news organization. The news team said the explainer story helped keep the focus on their reporting and what they uncovered instead of anti-cop rhetoric they were anticipating.
The Gazette designed a button for their web stories that asked users if the information about how they reported a story was "helpful" or "not helpful." Users weighed in on that questions by simply clicking on the words. This was added to pull-out boxes and at the end of written stories.
The Gazette designed a button for their web stories that asked users if the information about how they reported a story was “helpful” or “not helpful.” Users weighed in on that questions by simply clicking on the words. This was added to pull-out boxes and at the end of written stories.
While searching for a photo to depict the country of Africa, the Christian Science Monitor news team realized it did not have appropriate photos to include in the story. They decided to talk openly with their users about what they felt was a lack of photos options. In the post, they also discussed how they were going to obtain photos to better depict the country in a fair and appropriate way.
While searching for a photo to depict the country of Africa, the Christian Science Monitor news team realized it did not have appropriate photos to include in the story. They decided to talk openly with their users about what they felt was a lack of photos options. In the post, they also discussed how they were going to obtain photos to better depict the country in a fair and appropriate way.
The Jefferson City News Tribune created story pages for some of their bigger stories that provided a summary of the issue and then links to the previous stories written. In addition to a well-written summary of the issue, the news organization highlighted how "balanced and accurate reporting" was a priority for them and that creating a page like this, a one-stop shop with story links for big issues, is one way they are working to provide a full view of the issues.
The Jefferson City News Tribune created story pages for some of their bigger stories that provided a summary of the issue and then links to the previous stories written. In addition to a well-written summary of the issue, the news organization highlighted how “balanced and accurate reporting” was a priority for them and that creating a page like this, a one-stop shop with story links for big issues, is one way they are working to provide a full view of the issues.
When faced with critical comments from a user on Facebook, Standard-Examiner used the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind why they cover certain stories, what requirements a story needs to meet in order to be relevant, and how their advertising department is separate from their newsroom. The commenter wanted them to make promises they couldn't make, but the news organization said it felt the back and forth with the commenter and the newsroom's explanations helped others better understand their news priorities and how they make decisions.
Some users assume journalists sensationalize news to make money. In this example, the accusation was direct: “Standard, has your marketing department worked out how many unique impressions and page views you get per dead kid?” The staff used the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind why they cover certain stories, what requirements a story needs to meet in order to be relevant, and how their advertising department is separate from their newsroom. The commenter wanted them to make promises they couldn’t make, but the news organization said it felt the back and forth with the commenter and the newsroom’s explanations helped others better understand their news priorities and how they make decisions.
Screenshot from WCPO's website, showing a post with the headline: "WCPO leadership makes decisions about what stories the station covers every day"
WCPO talked directly to their users about their story selection process. In a post on their website, they talked about what types of questions are involved when they make decisions about what to cover and what not to cover. Included in the note was mention of their approach to stories involving suicide and their approach to covering car accidents. The news team also shared the story on Facebook and received over 100 comments from users.
WCPO wrote a web article explaining the important role trust plays in their relationship with their community. The article discussed their participation in the Trusting News project and highlighted how they are going to try to be more trustworthy. The web article also invited feedback from users.
WCPO wrote a web article explaining the important role trust plays in their relationship with their community. The article discussed their participation in the Trusting News project and highlighted how they are going to try to be more trustworthy. The web article also invited feedback from users.
WCPO discussed their core beliefs as a news organization while updating their "about" page on their website. They told users they loved their city, discussed how they strive for accuracy and said one of their goals is to be transparent with users. The post was also shared on Facebook where it received hundreds of comments. The news organization said the post worked well and "people seemed to relate, ask questions and respond" to them.
WCPO discussed their core beliefs as a news organization while updating their “about” page on their website. They told users they loved their city, discussed how they strive for accuracy and said one of their goals is to be transparent with users. The post was also shared on Facebook where it received hundreds of comments. The news organization said the post worked well and “people seemed to relate, ask questions and respond” to them.
WCPO shared a Washington Post article about President Donald Trump on Facebook and added a note about how they choose to cover the president and politicians. They wanted to highlight how they hold people in power accountable because of how it impacts the public.
WCPO shared a Washington Post article about President Donald Trump on Facebook and added a note about how they choose to cover the president and politicians. They wanted to highlight how they hold people in power accountable because of how it impacts the public.
After a survey about low trust in media was published, the Christian Science Monitor asked their Facebook followers if they trusted the news organization. Editors said the comments received were "very constructive." They said they received much more praise than criticism and the criticism received was constructive. The news organization made sure to monitor and respond to comments and said they were surprised how enthusiastic people were about providing feedback.
After a survey about low trust in media was published, the Christian Science Monitor asked their Facebook followers if they trusted the news organization. Editors said the comments received were “very constructive.” They said they received much more praise than criticism and the criticism received was constructive. The news organization made sure to monitor and respond to comments and said they were surprised how enthusiastic people were about providing feedback.
When WCPO reported on a public official's improper--but not illegal--behavior, they anticipated that readers might question their motivations. So, the news organization published a separate story explaining why editors found the behavior to be newsworthy and how the incident related to larger issues in local government. A call-out reinforced WCPO's commitment to transparent coverage and invited feedback.
When WCPO reported on a public official’s improper–but not illegal–behavior, they anticipated that readers might question their motivations. So, the news organization published a separate story explaining why editors found the behavior to be newsworthy and how the incident related to larger issues in local government. A call-out reinforced WCPO’s commitment to transparent coverage and invited feedback.
ENID used Facebook to introduce two new columnists. They highlighted their differences in the post by saying, “both have differing opinions on a wide range of topics in news today and share them weekly, Dave on Wednesday and James on Friday.”
Enid used Facebook to remind their users of what type of content they will delete and what type they allow in comment sections. Having a comment policy for your website and social platforms allows you to more easily moderate conversations with users. But, while you may have established these policies and have them visibly displayed, a reminder is always helpful.
Enid used Facebook to remind their users of what type of content they will delete and what type they allow in comment sections. Having a comment policy for your website and social platforms allows you to more easily moderate conversations with users. But, while you may have established these policies and have them visibly displayed, a reminder is always helpful.
While sharing a crime story on Facebook, the Coloradoan received questions about how they approach covering crime stories. In the comments section of the Facebook post, the news organization explained their crime coverage policy and answered questions from users.
While sharing a crime story on Facebook, the Coloradoan received questions about how they approach covering crime stories. In the comments section of the Facebook post, the news organization explained their crime coverage policy and answered questions from users.
When sharing a story about someone who died by suicide on Facebook, the Coloradoan used the post as a way to explain their approach to covering suicides. The Facebook post read: "It's the Coloradoan's policy not to report on individual suicides unless the act is in a public place or involves a high-profile person, such as in this case. We felt it was important to report on this story to complete our coverage of the case and provide resources for those struggling with mental illness." The news team did a good job responding to commenters in an appropriate tone and used national guidelines from the CDC to help explain their position.
When sharing a story about someone who died by suicide on Facebook, the Coloradoan used the post as a way to explain their approach to covering suicides. The Facebook post read: “It’s the Coloradoan’s policy not to report on individual suicides unless the act is in a public place or involves a high-profile person, such as in this case. We felt it was important to report on this story to complete our coverage of the case and provide resources for those struggling with mental illness.” The news team did a good job responding to commenters in an appropriate tone and used national guidelines from the CDC to help explain their position.
The Coloradoan added a note to the top of a story about allegations of sexual misconduct against a local comedian.
The Coloradoan added a note to the top of a story about allegations of sexual misconduct against a local comedian. The newspaper posted their story on the issue later than other news organizations and wanted to explain why. The note read: “To investigate this story, the Coloradoan spent the past month vetting accounts, speaking to police and interviewing all parties involved before publishing this story.” In addition, they wrote a separate editorial about their decision to wait on publishing that explained their reporting process and decision making.
After sharing some information about how they cover crime on Facebook, the Coloradoan decided to write a web story going into more detail about what their crime coverage policy is. By creating a separate page they are able to link to this when future questions up and can easily update it if their policy changes.
After sharing some information about how they cover crime on Facebook, the Coloradoan decided to write a web story going into more detail about what their crime coverage policy is. By creating a separate page they are able to link to this when future questions up and can easily update it if their policy changes.
WCNC does not normally air the raw footage of officer involved shootings but after reviewing the body camera footage and discussing it internally, they decided to air portions of video from obtained from local police. Since this was something their users may not be used to seeing, they wrote a story on their website about their decision to air the video and how they came to their decision.
WCNC does not normally air the raw footage of officer-involved shootings but after reviewing the body camera footage and discussing it internally, they decided to air portions of video from obtained from local police. Since this was something their users may not be used to seeing, they wrote a story on their website about their decision to air the video and how they came to their decision.
While covering a local political story that was divisive in the community, the Jefferson City News Tribune decided to write about their approach to covering the issue. On their website they published a column explaining the news decisions they made and how they incorporated coverage from national news organizations. Their goal was to explain to users that they were making news coverage decisions with the public in mind. They said they received positive and negative feedback, with one individual saying the column motivated them to reach out to the newsroom.
While covering a local political story that was divisive in the community, the Jefferson City News Tribune decided to write about their approach to covering the issue. On their website, they published a column explaining the news decisions they made and how they incorporated coverage from national news organizations. Their goal was to explain to users that they were making news coverage decisions with the public in mind. They said they received positive and negative feedback, with one individual saying the column motivated them to reach out to the newsroom.
When a suicide occurred on campus, Annenberg Media staff were torn on whether or not they should report on the incident. As they debated their options and talked about the legal issues internally, they also decided to share their thought process and reporting process with their users. Several of the reporters and news managers/professors were interviewed about why they covered the suicide. In the video, posted to Instagram and YouTube, the journalists discussed their policy when it comes to covering suicides and also linked to mental health resources available for those in need.
When a suicide occurred on campus, Annenberg Media staff were torn on whether or not they should report on the incident. As they debated their options and talked about the legal issues internally, they also decided to share their thought process and reporting process with their users. Several of the reporters and news managers/professors were interviewed about why they covered the suicide. In the video, posted to Instagram and YouTube, the journalists discussed their policy when it comes to covering suicides and also linked to mental health resources available for those in need.
After creating a poll on Facebook about guns, the Standard-Examiner received a question about the words they were using to describe certain guns. The news organization explained why they were using certain terms and asked for feedback from users about the issue.
After creating a poll on Facebook about guns, the Standard-Examiner received a question about the words they were using to describe certain guns. The news organization explained why they were using certain terms (and the role the Associated Press played in that) and asked for feedback from users about the issue.
The Tennessean created a video to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor's resignation. The newsroom said it felt the video format added a lot of value to the message and they enjoyed being able to explain how and why the decision was made instead of just writing a column. The newsroom also went live on Facebook to explain their decision.
The Tennessean created a video to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor’s resignation. The newsroom said it felt the video format added a lot of value to the message and they enjoyed being able to explain how and why the decision was made instead of just writing a column. The newsroom also went live on Facebook to explain their decision.
The Tennessean went live on Facebook to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor's resignation. By going live on Facebook the journalists provided users a place to be heard and receive feedback.The newsroom also created a video to explain how and why the decision was made.
The Tennessean went live on Facebook to explain why their editorial board asked for a mayor’s resignation. By going live on Facebook the journalists provided users a place to be heard and receive feedback. The newsroom also created a video to explain how and why the decision was made. 
Some audience members assume that journalists will broadcast whatever they hear--or whatever will drum up the most controversy. Inviting them into your editing process can reassure them of your credibility. WITF did just that when it received possibly explosive information. Rather than running with it as a breaking news story, they took a month to vet all the facts, A post from the editor explained their commitment to producing a deeply reported, independent analysis of the issue.
Some audience members assume that journalists will broadcast whatever they hear–or whatever will drum up the most controversy. Inviting them into your editing process can reassure them of your credibility. WITF did just that when it received possibly explosive information. Rather than running with it as a breaking news story, they took a month to vet all the facts, A post from the editor explained their commitment to producing a deeply reported, independent analysis of the issue.
KCRG decided to explain to users how it was going to cover President Donald Trump's use of profanity to describe some third-world countries.
KCRG decided to explain to users how it was going to cover President Donald Trump’s use of profanity to describe some third-world countries. In the opinion piece, a news manager explains how they are going to cover the story differently than other media organizations, by focusing on the “why” and not the reactionary soundbites. This post allowed the newsroom to explain its news values and set itself apart from “the media,” a group that when lumped together can often be criticized and distrusted. KCRG also shared the post on Facebook and asked for feedback on how they chose to cover the story.
KCRG decided to explain to users how it was going to cover President Donald Trump's use of profanity to describe some third-world countries.
KCRG decided to explain to users how it was going to cover President Donald Trump’s use of profanity to describe some third-world countries. In the opinion piece, a news manager explains how they are going to cover the story differently than other media organizations, by focusing on the “why” and not the reactionary soundbites. This post allowed the newsroom to explain its news values and set itself apart from “the media,” a group that when lumped together can often be criticized and distrusted. KCRG also shared the post on Facebook and asked for feedback on how they chose to cover the story.
WCPO published a story explaining how the editorial board and process works at their news organization. The story discussed what topics they will focus editorials on and their policy when it comes to endorsing candidates.
WCPO published a story explaining how the editorial board and process works at their news organization. The story discussed what topics they will focus editorials on and their policy when it comes to endorsing candidates.
Community Impact wanted to make sure its users understood how it was approaching primary election season. In a post on their website, they stressed how they will be reaching out to all candidates in contested races and would not be endorsing candidates. They also shared which races they would be covering. This post did not inspire negative comments from users, something that is rare for a political story.
Community Impact wanted to make sure its users understood how it was approaching primary election season. In a post on their website, they stressed how they will be reaching out to all candidates in contested races and would not be endorsing candidates. They also shared which races they would be covering. This post did not inspire negative comments from users, something that is rare for a political story.
To explain how they gather information and fact-check the information they receive, the Community Impact Newspaper group wrote a story for their website. The story focused on a recent article about opioid abuse and discussed how they try to balance opinions and viewpoints published in their news content.
To explain how they gather information and fact-check the information they receive, the Community Impact Newspaper group wrote a story for their website. The story focused on a recent article about opioid abuse and discussed how they try to balance opinions and viewpoints published in their news content.
Over the course of a week--from the first report of a death of a law enforcement officer, to his memorial service--WITF wrestled with several difficult coverage decisions. Should they report information they confidently knew through informal connections, or wait for official announcements? Should journalists attend the service as members of the public? The editor, who was a friend of one of the people involved, offered a very open, first-person account of how the newsroom approached the highly sensitive story. He writes: "It's important to remember the people we cover are more than just the role they play in a story."
Over the course of a week–from the first report of a death of a law enforcement officer, to his memorial service–WITF wrestled with several difficult coverage decisions. Should they report information they confidently knew through informal connections, or wait for official announcements? Should journalists attend the service as members of the public? The editor, who was a friend of one of the people involved, offered a very open, first-person account of how the newsroom approached the highly sensitive story. He writes: “It’s important to remember the people we cover are more than just the role they play in a story.”
Hashtags can let your Twitter followers know what type of story you're sharing at a glance, helping them to frame their expectations before even landing on your website. The Virginian-Pilot created hashtags to better categorize content on Twitter for their users. They created #VPColumn and #VPEditorial for opinion content, and #VPBreaking for developing stories.
Hashtags can let your Twitter followers know what type of story you’re sharing at a glance, helping them to frame their expectations before even landing on your website. The Virginian-Pilot created hashtags to better categorize content on Twitter for their users. They created #VPColumn and #VPEditorial for opinion content and #VPBreaking for developing stories.
Audience members don't always understand the work that goes into a big investigative piece. WITF shined a light on a five-month projecy by discussing all of the work that went into the story: dozens of interviews, hundreds of miles traveled, tons of documents analyzed and input from several editors. In this case, the reporter was happy to share "the story behind the story," which both emphasizes the costs of serious reporting and reinforces the organization's commitment to fair, in-depth reporting.
Audience members don’t always understand the work that goes into a big investigative piece. WITF shined a light on a five-month projecy by discussing all of the work that went into the story: dozens of interviews, hundreds of miles traveled, tons of documents analyzed and input from several editors. In this case, the reporter was happy to share “the story behind the story,” which both emphasizes the costs of serious reporting and reinforces the organization’s commitment to fair, in-depth reporting.

screenshot from thegazette.com, showing a pull-out box with multiple perspectives.

 

screenshot from thegazette.com, showing a pull-out box with multiple perspectives.
The Gazette highlighted how they bring multiple perspectives into each story they cover by adding a pull-out box to their web story. The box highlighted what people on each side of the issue thought, shared a link to their in-depth coverage and asked users for feedback.
The Jefferson City News Tribune used a pull-out box to highlight the variety of coverage and different perspectives included in their stories about an issue. The news organization addressed that the story was about an issue people have mixed feelings about. They then explained what the current article was going to highlight and focus on and then linked to stories that provided a different perspective. They also linked to opinion pieces about the topic.
The Jefferson City News Tribune used a pull-out box to highlight the variety of coverage and different perspectives included in their stories about an issue. The news organization addressed that the story was about an issue people have mixed feelings about. They then explained what the current article was going to highlight and focus on and then linked to stories that provided a different perspective. They also linked to opinion pieces about the topic.
The Jefferson City News Tribune used an editor’s note at the top of stories to show balance. The note said, “The Jefferson City community has been facing the complex topics of diversity and racism for several months, and we’ve been reporting on those discussions as they happen. Today’s story focuses on the efforts of local faith leaders to identify goals and action steps to heal racial issues they see in the community. We’ve also heard from city leaders, school district officials, teachers, concerned parents and Jefferson City Public Schools alumni. For a look at all of the voices who have contributed to this discussion, view additional coverage at newstribune.com/diversity.”
The Jefferson City News Tribune demonstrated balance while covering the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, which was marked with protests and support. Here is what their front page looked like on Jan. 21, a day protestors and supporters alike took the streets to express themselves. They emphasized the intent behind the approach when sharing the front page on Facebook.

In print, multiple perspectives on an issue can often be found on the same page or in the same section, but online, each opinion or side of the story lives separately. The Gazette linked an editorial and three letters to the editor about a local issue together by using a pull-out box. The box highlighted the fact that the news organization had different perspectives available for users and then linked to each article.
In print, multiple perspectives on an issue can often be found on the same page or in the same section, but online, each opinion or side of the story lives separately. The Gazette linked an editorial and three letters to the editor about a local issue together by using a pull-out box. The box highlighted the fact that the news organization had different perspectives available for users and then linked to each article.
In print, multiple perspectives on an issue can often be found on the same page or in the same section, but online, each opinion or side of the story lives separately. The Gazette linked an editorial and three letters to the editor about a local issue together by using a pull-out box. The box highlighted the fact that the news organization had different perspectives available for users and then linked to each article.
In print, multiple perspectives on an issue can often be found on the same page or in the same section, but online, each opinion or side of the story lives separately. The Gazette linked an editorial and three letters to the editor about a local issue together by using a pull-out box. The box highlighted the fact that the news organization had different perspectives available for users and then linked to each article.
When two opposing groups held rallies on the same day, the Jefferson City News Tribune took the opportunity to show users how they try to be balanced in their reporting. They published two articles (one about each rally) and then added a note at the top of each story linking to the story about the opposing rally. The analytics showed people were navigating to the stories from the link on the opposing story, in some cases.
When two opposing groups held rallies on the same day, the Jefferson City News Tribune took the opportunity to show users how they try to be balanced in their reporting. They published two articles (one about each rally) and then added a note at the top of each story linking to the story about the opposing rally. The analytics showed people were navigating to the stories from the link on the opposing story, in some cases.
In an effort to let users know they are listening to them and looking to include all perspectives when reporting a story, WITF added the following to the top of their web stories: ""Here are the most prominent perspectives on this story. We are on the lookout for stereotypes and assumptions in our own work, and we invite you to point out we may have missed. Contact us on our Trusting News page."
In an effort to let users know they are listening to them and looking to include all perspectives when reporting a story, WITF added the following to the top of their web stories: “Here are the most prominent perspectives on this story. We are on the lookout for stereotypes and assumptions in our own work, and we invite you to point out we may have missed. Contact us on our Trusting News page.”
When a commenter on Facebook was critical of language included in a story, the Enid staff responded directly and explained why the information was included. For this particular story, the information was coming directly from an affidavit so the journalist explained that it was official information from a court document and that is why they decided to include it in their story.
When a commenter on Facebook was critical of language included in a story, the Enid staff responded directly and explained why the information was included. For this particular story, the information was coming directly from an affidavit so the journalist explained that it was official information from a court document and that is why they decided to include it in their story.
After receiving a lot of criticism for a published "letter to the editor," the State decided to add an editor's note to the bottom of all letters printed by the news organization. The note reads, "The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State."
After receiving a lot of criticism for a published letter to the editor, The State decided to add an editor’s note to the bottom of all letters printed by the news organization. The note reads, “The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.”
Social media can get a bad rap, but for many newsrooms, it's a key part of how audiences find their coverage. In this post, the social media editor at WITF explains that her goal is to inform and add value to the readers' day. She clearly states that while tracking clicks is part of the job, "we avoid raising your blood pressure for the sake of engagement stats." Finally, she reminds readers of the station's comment policy, and invites feedback and reactions.
Social media can get a bad rap, but for many newsrooms, it’s a key part of how audiences find their coverage. In this post, the social media editor at WITF explains that her goal is to inform and add value to the readers’ day. She clearly states that while tracking clicks is part of the job, “we avoid raising your blood pressure for the sake of engagement stats.” Finally, she reminds readers of the station’s comment policy, and invites feedback and reactions.
WITF discussed their participation in the Trusting News project in a post on their website. They also shared the post on Facebook and asked for feedback. Overall, WITF journalists said comments were positive.
WITF discussed their participation in the Trusting News project in a post on their website. They also shared the post on Facebook and asked for feedback. Overall, WITF journalists said comments were positive.
Screenshot from communityimpact.com, reading: Editor’s note: Community Impact Newspaper has been following the paid sick leave issue since the city began gathering input for a potential citywide ordinance. Throughout Community Impact Newspaper‘s reporting, viewpoints from all sides of the issue have been expressed. Please click this link to find all previous coverage on this issue.
Balanced reporting can happen over time, but readers don’t always see the full breadth of your coverage. An editor’s note can draw attention to the wide variety of sources you’ve interviewed—and highlight your promise to keep sharing a range of perspectives.
The Jefferson City News Tribune decided to tackle "fake news" rhetoric head-on. They published a simple message on Facebook: "We hate fake news, too." In the post, they also linked to their "about us" page on their website and asked for feedback using a Google Form.
The Jefferson City News Tribune decided to tackle “fake news” rhetoric head-on. They published a simple message on Facebook: “We hate fake news, too.” In the post, they also linked to their “about us” page on their website and asked for feedback using a Google Form.
Screenshot from WITF's website, showing a post with the headline: "Media is criticized; not trusted by half of Americans"
During a daily, live radio show, WITF put the focus of the show on journalism and declining trust in news. They invited industry experts and took questions from listeners, which they answered after the show. The show was honest about the issues facing the industry while also offering insight into how news works.
KCRG used the viral, controversial Sinclair Broadcasting video as a jumping off point to talk about their own ownership. In the post, they remind readers of their ethics policy, and state in no uncertain terms that coverage decisions are made locally. The news organization said readers appreciated the openness.
KCRG used the viral, controversial Sinclair Broadcasting video as a jumping off point to talk about their own ownership. In the post, they remind readers of their ethics policy, and state in no uncertain terms that coverage decisions are made locally. The news organization said readers appreciated the openness.
Ask news consumers what they’re looking for in responsible journalism, and at the very top of the list will be one word: balance. (At least, it’s at the top of the list from 81 user interviews conducted by Trusting News partners. Often mentioned alongside the word balance are the words “both sides.” These are tricky concepts, of course. There are usually more than two sides. And the primary goal of journalism is not to produce a scale with two equal sides. Too often, balance is equated with equal air time or column inches, and that’s not the business we’re in. To read more from this edition click here and you can sign up for the weekly “Trust Tips” newsletter by clicking here.
Breaking news is a term that elicits varied feelings for journalists. It seems to always be a hectic time, with people and information moving at lightning speeds. It’s also when news organizations have an opportunity to fulfill one of their top duties: providing accurate information to the public. While a lot of us thrive and feel an adrenaline rush during breaking news situations, it’s also a time when most mistakes happen. And our audiences notice. To read more from this edition click here and you can sign up for the weekly “Trust Tips” newsletter by clicking here.
I have talked to a lot of editors and news directors who want to avoid using the term “fake news” at all costs, and their reasons resonate with me. Some say they don’t want to perpetuate or validate the use of the term by using it. Sometimes they don’t want to bring it up only to have the conversation get taken over by trolls. And in some cases, they just dread the term because they don’t know how to respond to the accusations that come with it. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here
Journalists often face tough decisions when it comes to whether and how to publish disturbing images. They carefully weigh their responsibility to accurately and compellingly reflect a harsh reality while also avoiding exploitation and respecting the preferences and privacy of both their audience members and the subjects of the images. As Kelly McBride wrote for Poynter last week, it’s not up to newsrooms to shield their communities from hard truths, but they can minimize harm by treating the situation carefully. More from this edition can be found here and to receive the tips in your inbox each week click here
USA TODAY used Facebook LIVE to bring two of their opinion editors with opposing views together to debate the president’s State of the Union speech. The also asked their users to ask questions during the live broadcast.
WCPO created a pro/con pull-out box on their website for a story to clearly show users both sides of a tax issue. By making it look different on their website they were able to drive users attention to it. The story outperformed in metrics compared to normal metrics for stories like this.
WCPO created a pro/con pull-out box on their website for a story to clearly show users both sides of a tax issue. By making it look different on their website they were able to drive users attention to it. The story outperformed in metrics compared to normal metrics for stories like this.
If a commenter complains about fake news, consider addressing the issue head-on. That is what WCPO did in their Facebook comments. They explained what fake news really is and why it doesn’t apply to their work. Invite reports of actual inaccuracies.
Video: How to Submit a Letter to the Editor
The Tennessean produced a 41-second video  for users explaining how to submit a “letter to the editor.” They included information about where to send the letter and how many words it should be (250 or less). The video is concise and to the point. More importantly, it can be embedded on the website or easily shared on social and by including text on the screen, it is easily consumable.
Video: How to Submit a Letter to the Editor
The Tennessean produced a 41-second video  for users explaining how to submit a “letter to the editor.” They included information about where to send the letter and how many words it should be (250 or less). The video is concise and to the point. More importantly, it can be embedded on the website or easily shared on social and by including text on the screen, it is easily consumable.
WCPO addiction story
WCPO highlighted their commitment to their community in a Facebook post when they shared a link to a story about heroin addiction. They focused on how this particular story is one of hope.
Facebook comments can be an effective way to say directly to your community that you value their trust, then invite and answer questions. WCPO editors did just that. In the comments that followed, some commenters complained in general about bias in the media and fake news. An editor replied by inviting specific examples from their coverage. Not only that, he included his own email address. That shows that the station is open to feedback, but it also keeps the conversation focused on their own coverage, not the media overall.