Tension between unchecked powers is escalating as Amazon has stopped distributing Parler and Trump’s voice continues to be shut down by social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Big Tech’s ability to place bans at will are headache-inducing conflicts. In his Columbia Journalism Review article, Mathew Ingram also writes that journalists have a responsibility to stop Trump from amplifying his pro-violence message.
Roy Peter Clark, in Poynter, praises John Woodrow Cox’s Washington Post article covering the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Clark writes that Cox covered the event in a way that laid out the information with engaging language without being overly partisan. Clark examined Cox’s four paragraphs, admiring his storytelling-style writing and word choice that convey a message that wasn’t quite neutral, but was nothing short of the truth. The article questions whether or not journalistic practices need to change going forward.
The Google News Initiative is offering $3 million to news organizations to fact-check vaccine information. This not-so staggering amount adds to the total that has been given out by Google to combat misinformation regarding COVID-19. In this Nieman Lab article, Sarah Scire interviews Alexios Mantzarlis, Google’s “news and information credibility lead.” Mantzarlis argues that although it’s difficult to combat the huge amount of fake news out there, the process will hopefully be somewhat effective. The fact checkers are being presented with the ever-exhausting issue of partisanship, and fact-checking has become an unusually difficult task. There is ideology to be considered, and the people and organizations pursuing this fact-checking endeavor are trying to avoid accusations of falling too heavily on one side of the spectrum.
Ben Smith of the NYT has a story about a startling settlement paid by Fox News for its role in spreading false rumors about the death of Seth Rich in 2016. While the settlement this past October was costly for the network, what was even more surprising was an unusual clause — details of the settlement had to be kept secret until after the election. What is all that about?, asks Smith.