Battling Misinformation in Media & Journalism

Inclusivity in Media Meet Up - 2019 - Photo by Karla Bruciaga

In a digital media world, journalists face unprecedented challenges when it comes to reporting news. Social platforms allow anyone to share or livestream footage from the middle of breaking events, often reaching huge audiences who have to make sense of the chaos themselves. There has been proof of misinformation intentionally spread through our social media platforms – so in the face of all this how are journalists and media companies supposed to break through the noise to get the real information out there?

The Media & Journalism Track of the SXSW Conference provides a home to conversations like these as well as talks around how the process of news, analysis, and content distribution are being impacted by technology and society. Join us to examine the fast-changing media industry landscape, as older institutions and newer organizations battle for consumer attention. In the face of misinformation flying at consumers from all directions, the industry experts converging on SXSW 2020 have some insights on how best to combat this troubling trend.

What Can Journalists & Media Companies Do

The rise of doctored videos such as deepfakes, alongside the need to validate video from fast-changing conflict zones, now means newsrooms rely on digital verification techniques more than ever. How can reporters and editors navigate this shifting frontier, rooting out video fakery from story-breaking but unverified source material? What weapons can the news industry use to cut through the noise, serve the public interest and prevent the further erosion of trust in the media? Henry Adjer (Deeptrace), Laura Lucchini (Ruptly), and Derpfakes set out to answer this during Video Verification: Battling New Beasts in News.

Many Americans have voiced concerns about the production and proliferation of misinformation and made-up news. Going beyond discussions about the mechanics of the spread of made-up news online, Americans’ Experiences with Misinformation & 2020 will bring in public opinion data to focus on the human side of the issue: exploring Americans’ experiences with misinformation, actions they take in response to misinformation, and their perceptions about its impact on our democratic system and streams of information. Philip Howard (University of Oxford), Jane Lytvynenko (BuzzFeed News), Amy Mitchell (Pew Research Center), and Lori Robertson (FactCheck.org) whose work is focused on the issue of misinformation will discuss how it relates to trust, political polarization and democracy, as well the efforts journalistic and fact-checking organizations are taking ahead of 2020.

In the wake of fake news and terrorism, many advertisers have stepped away from running their ads alongside hard news because of the risk to their brand reputation. Advertisers have played a crucial role in supporting media and ultimately free press as a whole, but this recent shift in behavior by advertisers is causing a ripple effect throughout the publishing industry and shaking the very foundation of our democracy. Sara Fischer (Axios), Nandini Jammi (Sleeping Giants), and Tony Marlow (Integral Ad Science) to discuss the future of the free press and the role advertising plays in it in Free Press, Advertising, & the Future of Democracy.

More on Battling Misinformation

Though these sessions come from various places across the 22 Tracks of Conference programming, they expand further on different ways media and journalism are being censored, free speech is being limited, and the reliability of information is being questioned at higher rates in response to the spread of misinformation.

Browse More Media & Journalism Track Sessions

For more sessions that cover how the professionals in the media and journalism spaces adapt to an ever-changing landscape browse through the Media & Journalism sessions.

This Convergence Track gives primary access to all SXSW Badges.

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Browse Media & Journalism Sessions

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Featured Image by Karla Bruciaga

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