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Ethics

The plague of fake news is getting worse -- here's how to protect yourself

It's time for a new rule on the web: Double, no, triple check before you share. Especially if it seems too good to be true. Why? Look no further than Donald Trump's Twitter account. Trump claimed Sunday morning that "Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton." Not only was there no proof of this, but it was pretty easy to disprove. The FBI email inquiry was at the top of Google News; FBI director James Comey's name was at the top of Facebook's "trending" box; and Twitter's "moments" section had a prominent story about the controversy. Nevertheless, Trump's wrong-headed "burying" claim was his most popular tweet of the day. About 25,000 accounts retweeted it and almost 50,000 "liked" it, helping the falsehood spread far and wide.

State of the News Media 2016

ImageEight years after the Great Recession sent the U.S. newspaper industry into a tailspin, the pressures facing America’s newsrooms have intensified to nothing less than a reorganization of the industry itself, one that impacts the experiences of even those news consumers unaware of the tectonic shifts taking place. In 2015, the newspaper sector had perhaps the worst year since the recession and its immediate aftermath. Average weekday newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, fell another 7% in 2015, the greatest decline since 2010. While digital circulation crept up slightly (2% for weekday), it accounts for only 22% of total circulation. And any digital subscription gains or traffic increases have still not translated into game-changing revenue solutions. In 2015, total advertising revenue among publicly traded companies declined nearly 8%, including losses not just in print, but digital as well.

Small Stations Go Big During Breaking News

ImageWhen a gunman opened fire Oct. 1 in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., KVAL had only two reporters in the rural town. ABC affiliate KEZI had just one. The vast majority of staff and resources for the two Eugene stations, as well as others in the closest TV market (DMA No. 120), were 72 miles north. They sent staff to the hospital and blood bank in addition to the school, while reporters on their own had TVU backpacks and sent content back. The stations dealt with rumors and national media requests, not to mention the aftermath of a tragedy in their backyard, but they nonetheless produced wall-to-wall coverage. "One thing we do not have is a small-market attitude here," said JR Jackson, KVAL Eugene general manager. "We don't think of ourselves as a small-market team."

2015 Global Social Journalism Study

ImageNow in its fourth year, The Social Journalism Study, conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University, charts the changing ways journalists and media professionals use social media for their work and in their communication with PR professionals. This report gathers data from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Australia, which have been part of this study for three years. The study has included other countries in its lifespan but only those that have been included every year are compared here.

Research: RTDNA salary survey

ImageNewsroom salary highlights: TV salaries gain ground, not radio; winners and losers and starting pay; who is under contract... The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey found that local television news salaries rose by 1.9% in 2014. That's up by 0.3 from a year ago, and with inflation an extremely low 1.6%, that means that TV news salaries gained slightly in purchasing power last year. The spread of 0.3 this year at least beats the 0.1 difference a year ago.

Columbia issues scathing report on 'Rolling Stone' rape story

ImageThe Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism released a scathing report of the 'Rolling Stone' magazine's journalistic practices regarding an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism issued a scathing report Sunday on the editorial breakdown at Rolling Stone magazine that allowed publication of a searing, now thoroughly discredited story about a woman who said she had been gang raped at the University of Virginia, ending a three-month review meant to shed a light on and calm the storm surrounding a saga that had triggered a police probe and institutional soul searching at the university.

5 facts about the state of local TV newsrooms

ImageThe market for local television stations was bullish in 2013, driven by the growing political ad revenue and fees paid to those outlets by cable, satellite and telecommunications companies for the right to carry their programming. In 2013, about 300 full-power local stations changed hands for a combined price tag of more than $8 billion, as major companies — from the Sinclair Broadcast Group to the Tribune Company — dramatically expanded their local TV portfolios. Despite that boom, a new survey of 1,300 local television news directors produced by RTDNA and Hofstra University paints a mixed picture of the staffing and spending patterns in local television news.

The future of journalism through the eyes of interns

Juniper Rose likes the convenience of audio news. Katrina Cameron reads news mostly on her iPhone. For Vanessa Ochavillo, Twitter is the best way to stay on top of many different news sources. Daniel Rothberg prefers emailed newsletters in the morning. Will Wright reads a variety of sites but follows Al Jazeera and Reuters for international news. Of all The Bee's interns this summer - we have 15 in news - only the youngest, Isabelle Taft of Yale University, still prefers the printed newspaper to stay informed. That's a preference I more often hear from readers at least in their 50s or 60s. Yet the habits of our interns reflect modern-day news consumption - they are choosing to read what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

Your Local TV News Station Would Like to Buy a Drone

ImageEvery reporter knows the feeling of wanting to get closer to the action. There are a lot of traditional ways to achieve this – inside sources, telephoto lenses, news helicopters, just to name a few. But now that ever-cheaper drones can be outfitted with cameras, journalists have a whole new way to get a better angle on a story. And they want to use it.  The problem is that in the United States, despite the increasing use of drones for things like photographing real estate, there are no real rules to control their commercial operation. The FAA is in charge of regulating “unmanned aircraft systems,” but they have been slow to formulate guidelines, and have admitted they won’t meet the 2015 deadline for doing so. In the meantime, it's technically illegal to operate a UAS for commercial use, and can result in a $10,000 fine, though that law is only enforced on occasion.

Drone use highlights questions for journalists

ImageAs police responded to a deadly car crash, they noticed an increasingly familiar sight: a remote-controlled aircraft, equipped with a video camera, hovering over the wreckage. The Federal Aviation Administration has opened an investigation of the drone, which was used by an on-call employee for a Connecticut television station. The FAA is developing new rules as the technology makes drones far more versatile, but for now operators can run afoul of regulations by using them for commercial purposes, including journalism. The case of the Hartford crash, in which the victim's body was left hanging out of a mangled car, highlights some of the safety, privacy and ethical issues that journalists will wrestle with as interest grows in using drones for newsgathering.