News analysis relies on a multitude of different elements coming together, just as much as factual analysis relies on perception. Components that directly, on one level or another, correlate with each other in order to create the most objective overview that we can muster as information receivers.
With a frighteningly high number of news content produced daily, it appears to be counter-productive to adhere to a factual and objective news analysis process when the world around us revolves in seconds. Such a process is lengthy and a costly one, if it is to be done correctly.
FightHoax takes the various elements that make up a story, such as who is behind the news piece, the history of the publication, the language used and the different perspectives of the topic into consideration, in order to create a consistent overall view, as a result. The algorithm follows a similar pattern to what would you do as a person, as in, cross-check and analyse what you’re reading, in the most objective manner possible.
6 major aspects represent the backbone of any news piece or article of public information, as they offer a key insight into what makes a story, a story.
1) The Author
Understanding who wrote the piece you are reading is a crucial first step towards creating an overall objective view of the information. Authors with a more consistent digital footprint are generally more reliable due to their expertise and extensive coverage of specific subjects, whereas authors with no digital information create a “hole” in our objective analysis.
2) The Bias
The next aspect to consider is the bias of both the publication and the author who wrote the news piece you are consuming. This is closely attributed to the human nature and its group or individual perspectives that make up a group view, rather than focusing on the subjective side of the bias.
“Perception falls under the scope of opinion.”
Journalism is hitherto an objective study and application of knowledge. It is necessary however to consider the psychological aspect of how people and organisations composed of people, perceive and understand news, as perception falls under the scope of individual and/or group opinions.
3) The Emotions
Anatural continuation of the human and psychological aspect of both the publication and author’s biases are the emotions circulating either the topic, the words highlighted and / or the source. This adjoining aspect of the analysis concerns the overall sentiment observed in the digital sphere, which might include parts, the whole or none of the affecting pillars.
We need to regard the marketing side of a story, as journalism is widely formed as a for-profit activity, either for the individual and / or the organisation. This is where click-baiting originates, as it adheres directly to your emotions as a reader — the stronger the emotion, the higher the impression. As a result, emotions add weight to the perception bias.
4) The Facts
When it comes to the facts, there are two correlating aspects that we need to consider: the source itself and the content we’re reading. It is important to decipher the facts presented to us by understanding more about where we are reading and what we are reading.
It is important to consider that the factual aspect of the analysis is a rather dynamic one. Human error and response are also key parts of the overall view. Simply put, even a source with the most reliable track record can adhere to factual mistakes and, thus, understanding how it responds to them is of crucial importance to our factual reporting.
5) The Title
Acommon phenomenon, which originates on the ability to use your emotions as a reader, is click-baiting. This is a rather simple concept to analyse, albeit an important one for our general understanding. Titles tend to easily capture the reader’s curiosity and emotional pulse, therefore offering a valuable aspect to understanding what kind of content we are reading.
6) The Language
Bycombining the content, its length and its factual level with the quality of the language written and used, we can verify — to a certain degree — the status of the news piece we are reading. Quality content usually signals that, time and care have been capitalised to craft the article.
Naturally, however, we need to regard human error and its correlation with both publishing time and deadlines and, of course, the real impact of proof-reading which is, more often than not, based on human abilities. Simply put, lack of total perfection is usually a verification of genuine content.
It is therefore crucial to combine knowledge and technology, rather than relying on the latter solely, to tell us what is true and what is not.