Former CNN pundit Kayleigh McEnany appears in a video on President Trump's Facebook page Aug. 6, hosting a segment called the "Real News." Screenshot HSW We live in a confusing media world. The news used to be something you read in a printed newspaper, or what the guy on TV with good hair talked about at 5 o'clock every weeknight. Whether you thought the news of the day was "good" or "bad" didn't change the fact that it was still the news — something we all agreed was important, impartial and in most cases, true. Not anymore. Thanks to deep political polarization and an explosion of news(ish) content shared on social media, whether a news item is "real" or "fake" is now mostly a matter of personal opinion. If the news fits our preconceived political notions, then it's real. Otherwise, it's biased, crooked, conspiratorial or even "Soviet-style propaganda." That last label is how some critics on Twitter described a video posted on Aug. 6 on the Facebook page for Donald J. … [Read more...] about When One American’s ‘News’ Is Another’s ‘Propaganda’
Start the Countdown If you see a headline like this, you know it's made-up. Other times, it's not so easy to spot fake news. ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59 Back in the old days, when people got their news mainly from papers, magazines, radio and television, it was generally easy to figure out when someone was pulling your leg. Pretty much anything in the National Enquirer was suspect, for example. That tabloid often featured stories with outrageous headlines, such as, "Woman Gives Birth to Alien." We may laugh at such titles, but what's not so funny is that in the last decade or two, with the growth of the Internet and social media, fake news stories and entire fake news sites have proliferated. Some sites intentionally write false, humorous stories under the satire genre.A prime example is The Onion. Many people realize The Onion is a satirical publication. But if there's any doubt, it's pretty clear if you click on the site's "About Us" tab. The information there says, … [Read more...] about 10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story
No one knows your child like you do. Follow her lead, and be honest with age-appropriate information regarding the event you’re discussing. ©iStockphoto.com/Brand X Pictures What do you say to kids when a space shuttle explodes during its launch? Or when 3,000 Americans die in the World Trade Center during a terrorist attack? Or when a hurricane floods a city and kills more than 1,000 people? What do you say when there's a shooting in a movie theater, or when 20 students and six adults are shot and killed at an elementary school? It's inevitable kids will hear (or overhear) news of a tragedy from friends, another parent, or from a teacher. That's OK; you can't and shouldn't shield children from talking about the events in the world around them. You can and should, though, be proactive and be the primary source of information -- even when you may not know what to say. It's important for parents to be in control the sources from whom their children get information about … [Read more...] about How to Talk to Children About Tragedies in the News
Will AI algorithms replace trained human reporters? The automated journalism revolution may already be in its infancy. henrik5000/Getty Images Maybe you're a fan of minor league baseball. Or perhaps you're an investor interested in a company's performance last quarter, or a politics junkie who wants to dig into the numbers of local election results. Whatever type of data devourer you are, you may be surprised to learn that that news story you just read wasn't written by a human being. Automated journalism, in which software programs with artificial intelligence capabilities use algorithms to fashion stories from raw data such as sports box scores and corporate earnings reports, seems to be one of the hotter new trends in the media business. Proponents say that using robotic writers can help news organizations to produce vastly more coverage of topics where the news is mostly numbers, while freeing human journalists from the drudgery of churning out formulaic articles and allowing … [Read more...] about News Organizations Are Using Artificial Intelligence to Generate Data-driven Articles
For decades, news organizations have used helicopters to gather information and report live from in the sky. Could drones replace news choppers? Steven D. Starr/Corbis/Getty Images When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August 2017, readers of USA Today's website were able to watch dramatic aerial video footage of the city of Houston flooding, a nearby chemical plant immersed under water and other startling views of the disaster. But the eye-catching clips weren't shot by a cameraman perched in a helicopter, as they might have been in the past. Instead, they were captured by robotic drones equipped with cameras and piloted by operators on the ground. Ever since the Federal Aviation Administration issued new regulations in 2016 making it easier for news organizations to use the flying robots, drones have become a hot new news-gathering tool. Prior to the change, a drone had to be piloted by someone trained and licensed for manned aircraft, requiring hours of cockpit experience. The new … [Read more...] about Will Drones Replace News Helicopters?