3 to Read: COVID-induced media crackdown | NPR’s audience expands | Understanding automated fact-checking

COVID-induced media crackdown: In response to the rise of COVID-19 misinformation, countries around the world have implemented laws and regulations that allow them to slow or stop the spread of fake news. However, human  rights organizations worry that certain governments have taken the restrictions too far, and are using the pandemic as a justification for silencing journalists and whistleblowers. Countries like Cambodia, Egypt and Indonesia have already arrested citizens for allegedly circulating false information, Jenna Hand writes for First Draft. Other tactics, such as internet shutdowns, could prevent people from accessing up-to-date  information about the virus, increasing the risk of people catching COVID-19.

NPR’s audience expands: Though overall radio audiences have shrunk with people working from home, National Public Radio’s influence is larger than ever. NPR hasn’t been untouched by the decline in radio listening, but users are still flocking to the publication on other platforms, such as its website, apps, podcasts, livestreams and social media platforms. Leaders have also been making an effort to reach younger generations by releasing content on Spotify, YouTube and TikTik, Sarah Scire writes for NiemanLab. Investing in its younger listeners has paid off — this year, for the first time ever, NPR’s biggest source of income has been the underwriting on its podcasts rather than its radio shows.

Understanding automated fact-checking: In the age of fake news, fact-checking has become an important journalistic tool. Although fact-checking can be done manually, automated tools are increasingly being used to help catch claims that slip past humans.. Writing for Poynter, Samuel Danzon-Chambaud discusses the two different types of automated fact-checking tools, and delves into cutting-edge research about their application.

By Maya Homan & Matt Carroll

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