Fact-checking in the social media era

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The Dutch financial institution ING surveyed journalists and public relations professionals to produce some surprising conclusions about fact-checking in the age of social media. "Fact-checking has become less thorough. 'Publish first, correct if necessary' is the motto these days. Only 20% of journalists always check their facts before publishing. Almost half of journalists said they published most of their stories as quickly as possible to correct later if necessary."

I find this horrifying, though not entirely surprising. As I've discovered in my own online research, the internet has become as much a source of misinformation as of information ... and I place a lot of blame for this on journalists with attitudes like those described in the ING survey.

Sure, misinformation can be corrected later ... but the damage by then has already been done. (I recently wrote about this in a blog post here: https://proveitresearch.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/why-does-blatant-misinf...)

Jay Rosen criticizes this type of journalist thinking all the time on this PressThink blog (http://www.pressthink.org), and does a great job of explaining why this attitude is so damaging for journalism ... and for democracy. If only more journalists would actually listen.