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BBC Verify’s approach to transparency
Plus, how one news site implemented audio articles
Last week we learned about BBC Verify, a new brand with 60 journalists dedicated to forensic reporting & fact-checking. According to BBC News chief executive Deborah Turness, the goal is to build trust: “News consumers have told us that the more they know about the work our journalists do, the more they will know they can trust our journalism.”
This week we’re seeing the new team in action. Marianna Spring, BBC’s disinformation & social media correspondent, posted a video highlighting BBC Verify’s usage of satellite imagery, as well as undercover social media accounts used to understand polarization online.
Turness pointed to a different video examining footage of the Kremlin drone attack. In the video, a reporter gets into the weeds of the verification process, including comparing the scene to recent photos to confirm nothing was out of place. Another piece, which has BBC Verify branding, uses satellite imagery to identify fortifications built by Russia in Ukraine.
For publishers chasing scale and drive-by readers, there's little payoff to this type of "behind the scenes" reporting. But for outlets focused on developing direct relationships with readers, investments in trust have a larger return.
Case Study: Here’s how Austrian publisher VOL.AT implemented audio versions of articles.
Used Amazon Polly, the text-to-speech software.
Launched in the mobile app before rolling out to the web.
25% of listeners listen to the full article.
The feature increased time spent in the app overall.
And here’s the latest news in digital media:
Internal challenges at The Messenger. A number of journalists at the Messenger are unhappy with the focus on traffic and aggregation. Politics editor Gregg Birnbaum quit after a spat with the company’s audience chief, saying “the rapacious and blind desperate chasing of traffic… has been a shock to the system and a disappointment to many of the outstanding quality journalists at The Messenger.”
Publishers are opting out of the Republican debates. While Fox News is set to host the first debate, other outlets including the New York Times and Politico didn't apply this time around. Hosting is costly, and some publishers are worried about the brand risk should a candidate engage aggressively with a moderator.
Reach created an AI-powered site. Reach, the UK-based publisher with brands including the Mirror, Star, and Daily Record, launched “My News Assistant,” which recommends stories from across its publications. Readers can personalize the recommendations by selecting their interests.
More on publishers & platforms:
TEGNA will no longer be acquired by Standard General.
The EU issued a record $1.3 billion GDPR fine to Meta for transferring data to the U.S.
TikTok sued Montana over its law banning the app.
More on AI:
An AI-generated hoax of a Pentagon explosion spread on Twitter from “verified” accounts, including one pretending to be Bloomberg.
Google is using AI to forecast floods.
AI is powering “interactive” personalized music for video games.
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