Do you have a fake news problem? | Gamifying the news | Algorithms as a beat

By Matt Carroll <@MattatMIT>

April 19, 2016: A trio of news media stories, videos, and data viz compiled weekly. Get notified via email? Email 3toread (at)

  1. How to tell if you have a “fake news” problem in your newsroom: Reporters at too many sites are under intense pressure to write stories that go viral. In order to do that, some reporters might … stretch the facts. Just a little. Martin Belam writes about how different organizations police the problem. (Or encourage it.)
  2. Learning how to gamify the news process: News games are an increasingly important part of presenting news stories. They are a new way of storytelling and can be a fascinating tool for explaining complex issues in a more easily digestible fashion. But it can also be a confusing topic for journalists used to telling stories in more traditional ways. Here’s what you need to know, by Julianna Longo. (btw, this story is told on, in itself a new storytelling platform, and very cool.)
  3. How can reporters dig deeper into the algorithms that govern our lives?: Algorithms are used by organizations as varied as Facebook and the local police department. But how are they being used? Are they biased? A fascinating look at a topic that has been barely been scratched, yet impacts our lives every day. By Chava Gourarie, for Columbia Jrn Review. Here’s a quote: “Algorithms have everything journalists are hardwired to question: They’re powerful, secret, and governing essential parts of society. Algorithms decide how fast Uber gets to you, whether you’re approved for a loan, whether a prisoner gets parole, who the police should monitor, and who the TSA should frisk.” A good read.

Matt Carroll runs the Future of News initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

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