Submissions:2019/How to define and elevate quality news: A discussion led by CUNY's NewsQ team

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


How to define and elevate quality news: A discussion led by CUNY's NewsQ team


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While efforts to fight misinformation and disinformation abound, the question of how to support and elevate quality information remains. What are the indicators of quality for news sources? And is it possible to increase the flow of quality news in a way that is economically viable, as well as sensitive to freedom of speech?

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York has advocated, along with Hacks/Hackers and the Credibility Coalition, that creating a data resource that is shared with the platforms, the ad ecosystem, journalists, and independent researchers is a critical step in addressing this challenge. To this end, we have built and are completing our first year of the “News Q” (News Quality, project, a database that contains over 90 “signals” or units of information that may bear on news and information quality against 13,000 US-based news and information sites. These signals range among several types, from observed internet traffic data to self-reported journalist corrections policies, and from ownership data to endorsement of media outlets by external authorities.

But beyond this technical achievement, NewsQ also aims to provide a central hub for data on news quality and credibility. As the Credibility Coalition’s CredCatalog shows, a wide range of approaches to understanding news and information credibility exist. NewsQ aims to provide a data commons for these efforts—a way in which the research and data produced by these efforts can be brought into conversation with one another.

Kate Harloe and Yemile Bucay, strategists for the NewsQ project, will discuss the overarching aims of this project, as well as their most recent findings, in a 15-minute presentation for WikiCredCon. After explaining highlights from the data, as well as methodology and utility, Harloe and Bucay will open the presentation for a 15-minute discussion with the audience. In particular, Bucay and Harloe will focus discussion on indicators of credibility: what does the audience think are the most important factors in determining quality news generally? When traits distinguish the news publications or sources that they trust? What kinds of questions would they be most interested to ask of the data set that NewsQ is building?

Bucay and Harloe will also guide discussion towards the challenging question implicit in this research: how do we define news? While most efforts in the credibility and misinformation space focus on elevating credible news or demoting unreliable news, there is no singular definition of news that spans across tech companies, universities, research efforts, and industries. Bucay and Harloe will guide a discussion around this challenge. Finally, they will of course take open questions from the audience.

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Author name:

Kate Harloe

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Estimated time:

30 minutes

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Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)