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News Media Alliance Tackles the Fake News Epidemic

By / Apr 4, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

As the issue of fake news continues to grow and become part of public debate, a new campaign from the News Media Alliance is working to set the record straight.

Following the 2016 presidential election, fake news has entered the mainstream consciousness as a debate or rally cry, bringing news organizations and social media platforms under closer scrutiny.

In an effort to highlight the importance of real news, while battling the growth of fake news, the News Media Alliance has launched its Support Real News campaign.

“As the association that represents the news media industry, fighting fake news is one of the most important things the News Media Alliance can do for our members right now,” President and CEO David Chavern said in a press release. “Our campaign raises awareness of the damage that can be and is being caused by fake news, and to demonstrate why the continued presence of real news organizations is vital to a strong democracy.”

The campaign encourages the public to subscribe to local and larger news publications and support the mission of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists through donations. The Alliance is working with ICIJ, as well as the Inland Press Association and the Local Media Consortium, to further the message.

“We’re all just groups that are in the fight together to protect journalism and defend news media,” VP of Innovation Michael MaLoon told Associations Now.

The Support Real News push includes digital and print ads, videos and social media posts shared with #SupportRealNews, blog posts, and an op-ed by Chavern, “created to reiterate that support and recognition for the quality and real journalism that journalists—photographers, editors, videographers—all work on every day,” MaLoon said. In addition to its partners, Alliance members are bolstering the campaign; currently, 480 member-held publications ran the print ads.

To kick off the campaign last week, Chavern and American Press Institute Deputy Director Jeff Sonderman held a Facebook Live session to offer insights into real versus fake news and how they’ve become the subject of public discussion. And throughout the next year, the Alliance will continue this campaign with new advertisements, creatives, and social videos.

“[Journalism] is not as simple as reading a news story, or what could or could not be a news story. Journalists work off a very strict set of disciplines of how they report,” MaLoon said. “They work with editors to make sure that their facts have been checked and verified. If they do make a mistake, there is a conscious stream of ethics that says they correct and acknowledge the correction. And part of that is educating the public to understand that maybe over time people have forgotten that there is that much discipline in the way journalists work.”

Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. More »

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