Journalism and innovation; approaches to data and fact-checking.

Ester Appelgren, PhD, Senior Lecturer fra Södertörn University holder åpen forelesning.

Ester Appelgren vil holde en åpen forelesning med tittel "Journalism and innovation; approaches to data and fact-checking".


Part 1: A closer look at Nordic fact checkers  

Fact-checking is a growing global practice where the accuracy of viral claims in the media are openly reviewed by journalists in order to detect false claims. In 2017, as a response to the growth of what is often denoted as fake news, an organization called IFCN (International Fact Checkers Network) was established at the Poynter Institute in the USA. This organization has since empowered fact-checking organizations around the world by establishing a code of principles to guide fact-checking organizations toward best practice, primarily in terms of nonpartisanship, fairness and transparency.

During this session, Ester Appelgren, Associate Professor of Journalism and one of the 88 international external assessors of the IFCN, presents the code of principles from the perspective of the external assessor. She will show examples of how Nordic Fact Checkers meet the twelve criteria in terms of best practice, but she will also touch on mistakes that can lower the credibility of fact-checking organizations with their audience.

Part 2: Fellow Focus Seminar: Seven years of Nordic data journalism — pro-innovation bias and critique

The transition toward a digital media landscape is often said to increase the interaction possibilities for those with access to the web and the needed skills. Seven years ago, data journalism was still in its infancy in Nordic newsrooms. Back then, it was ascribed features such as a high level of interactivity, user participation, multimodality, interconnected processes and more choices for the audiences compared to more static forms of reporting. As the years have passed, data journalism has been recognized as a practice that has changed newsroom culture and journalistic working methods.

Summarizing the research on data journalism, Hermida and Young (2019) determines that the scholarly attention has mostly revolved around data journalism as a process and seeks to detail the routines, roles, and responsibilities of the actors involved (23). Studies based on content analysis of data journalism have also found that data journalism is a practice that can enhance stories with visualizations while simultaneously enabling journalists to incorporate data sources as primary sources (Stalph 2017).

The introduction of data journalism in Nordic newsrooms has changed the media landscape and can be viewed as a technological innovation that has brought not only uncertainties but also media leadership to journalism. Today, journalists struggle to remain in control, creating linear pre-packaged content flows rather than providing the interactivity and user participation that data journalism is famous for (Appelgren 2018). Similarly, media leaders consider innovations such as data journalism to be a strength at media companies, even though innovation work may still stand in contrast to the institutional perspective.

This session focuses on the development of data journalism in the Nordic region from 2011 to the present, from the initial pro-innovation bias that comes with the introduction of something new in the newsroom to the current critique that unsolved challenges still restrain the potential of data journalism as a form of interactive investigative reporting serving democracy.

Ester Appelgrens Fellows-presentasjon.