Steve Kroft Interview: The Future of Journalism

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on January 5th, 2021
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I think that you just have to be persistent and look for a job and in feel fortunate if you mix when the sheet you’re living it’s very difficult but i think it’s it’s going to evolve over time things are going to get i think better than they are right now I think we’re sonic kind of in the midst of large quantities of highly tumultuous deepen technological change and I do think that the things are going to improve I one of the things that’s important likewise for people in this business to remember them you’ve got the skills do lots of other things besides journalism it’s not like you have your particularly the young people have your whole life tied up in in one business the ability to know how to write and gather information and collate it and coordinate it is a skill that is going to be there forever so parties shouldn’t be discouraged you’ve got an prestigious 40 -year career how has it reformed you know through the 40 well I started out when we were shooting film in the news rooms and had to develop in a way 45 instants for the film to develop before you could start editing it and so that’s a long time ago and I went through video strip and now we’re shooting on discs and I went through stages where it was fairly small to a station where it got very big in terms of the number of people that were employed and now it’s shrinking again so you know goes through cycles/seconds but I think that that journalism is too important and the flow of information is too important to go away and I think what it needs is a business model and I’m confident that somebody is going to come come up with

David Fahrenthold, “Journalism in the Time of Trump”

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on December 17th, 2020
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Good evening, I’m Alecia Swasy, Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism here at Washington and Lee. It’s a great pleasure to introduce our guest speaker, David Farenthold, National Reporter of The Washington Post. He started at The Post as an intern while attending Harvard. It didn’t take long for the newspaper to hire him full-time and turn him loose on the usual beats, D.C. cops, homicides and the World Championship Muskrat Skinning Contest and Beauty Pageant.Dave tells me you’re allowed to participate in both if anybody’s interested. Eventually he joined the political team and in 2016, he began an investigation into one candidate’s pledge to give millions to charity. And the Donald Trump beat has sure been busy ever since. Trump’s team estimated his charitable giving at tens of millions of dollars. So Dave set out to find out if it was true. He contacted 450 different charities, and in the end, he found out that in reality Trump had given away less than $10,000 over seven years. In addition, Trump used $10,000 of his foundation’s money to buy an oil portrait of himself to hang in one of his Florida golf resorts. For his investigative work, Dave was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, among many of the well-deserved awards. He is truly one of the hardest working and tenacious reporters of our time.Please join me in welcoming Dave to Washington and Lee. (audience applause) Thank you. Well hello everybody, thank you all for coming out to see me. As Alecia said, I’ve been at The Post 17 years now. Tell you a little about where I came from before that. I’m from Houston, Texas originally, Where I went to Memorial High School where many, many people went to Washington and Lee or knew about it.Having a Washington and Lee shirt, a connection there, was about the coolest thing you could have at Memorial High School. So I’m glad to have finally made it here about 20 years late. So as Alecia said, I’ve covered cops, New England, the environment, as she said, the World Championships of Muskrat Skinning and a beauty pageant at the same time. For a couple of years I covered government waste. Things like the national raisin reserve or a government program to require magicians to write disaster plans for their rabbits they would pull out of their hats. And then I started covering the 2016 Presidential Campaign basically in 2014. So long ago that the first story I did about the 2016 Presidential Campaign was about then Republican front-runner Chris Christie of New Jersey.We spent a whole day, actually a couple of days, driving around New Jersey for a story about everyone that Chris Christie had ever yelled at. Trying to find them. But we didn’t find them all. We found a sampling of them over two days. So I eventually got on to the Trump beat kinda by accident. I’d written in 2015 and spent a lot of time writing about. I wanted to write about presidential candidates, but I wanted to write about candidates you could really kinda get to know, see up close. And the ones that, seeing people who are basically losers. People who were candidates who were really long-shots.Bobby Jindal, you may have forgotten that he was actually in that race, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee. I went to go write about Rick Perry’s presidential campaign, and he dropped out in the middle of the first speech I went to go see him give. So I flew to Missouri and saw Rick Perry drop out in the middle of the speech. I wanted to, hold on, let me make sure I turn all my microphones on. I have two here. I was sort of without a candidate. And then in the beginning of 2016, the editors sent me to Iowa to see Donald Trump on Caucus Day. They had this idea that wasn’t it crazy that this guy had been married three times, he’d been on the cover of Playboy twice, that he was about to win, we thought, the Caucuses in this famously socially conservative, Christian conservative, state of Iowa.It turned out he didn’t. He lost narrowly to Ted Cruz. But I spent a day with Donald Trump, and I saw him do something really unusual. He was having a rally in Waterloo, Iowa, and he stopped the rally in the middle, and he said “Okay, pause the rally.” And he called up a local veterans group, a charity for veterans who are in Waterloo, up on stage. And he brought out this giant check, like a golf tournament size check that said Donald J. Trump Foundation on top and Make America Great Again on the bottom and it was for $100,000. He gives them this check. They say thank you so much for this donation. They sit down again, then the rally resumes. And that caught my attention because is seemed unusual, seemed like it might be illegal. In theory that is illegal to use a charity to boost a presidential campaign. And I get back to Washington after a covering the Iowa Caucuses with sort of what I thought would be a simple question.Sort of a simple story assignment which was to find out where that money came from, the money I saw him give away, and what happened to the rest of it. It turned out Donald Trump had held a fundraiser in Iowa the end of January in 2016. It’s sort of hard to image now, but he was having a feud at the time with Fox News, and he refused to go on Fox News’s debate and instead he had this fundraiser for veterans.He sort of counter-programed this debate that he wasn’t in and he said at the time he raised six million dollars for veterans, including a million dollars out of his own pocket, it might have been. Okay so that’s the $100,000, I saw him give it away. That’s where that money came from. And I had as what I said what I thought was a simple idea. I’ll just call the Trump campaign and say okay I saw him give away $100,000 to this group in Waterloo, where’d the rest of it go? Who got the rest of it? So give me the list of people he donated the six million dollars to. I thought it would take a couple of days and I’d be on to something else. It didn’t take a couple of days. The Trump campaign didn’t have answers. They couldn’t explain where the money went. Not in a week or a month, or two months, or three months. Finally we get to May. So that started in February and we get to the end of May, and I still don’t know where the money is.And then Corey Lewandowski, who was Trump’s campaign manager, called me and he said, “Okay, I could tell you for sure “Donald Trump, the million dollars Trump said “would come out of his won pocket to veterans, “he’s given that money away, “but I can’t tell you who got it or in what amounts or when, “it’s all secret. “Just trust me that the money’s been given away.” (audience laughs) So those of you who are journalism students in the audience, you can’t just, we wrote a story saying that Corey Lewandowski said that but you can’t just take ’em at their word.You have to find proof. You have to look for proof. So that was the beginning of something that would become six months of reporting. Now I want to tell you a little more about that before I take questions but also sort of to tell you sort of lessons that I learned along the way about the ways to adapt journalism to the world of modern media, the world of social media, and also the world of Donald Trump. And just to tell you how things have changed, when I started in 2000 at The Post, which is a long time ago, I admit, when we imagined who our reader was, you imagined someone sitting down at breakfast with a print paper, sort of having their coffee and their cereal. In fact that was often when we talked about you couldn’t write anything in the paper that would gross out someone so much they couldn’t eat their cereal.It was sort of like a standard of decency. You imagine somebody sitting down at the breakfast table with their paper and their coffee and all they had to do in the world was read your stories. There was nothing else to distract them. They had one news source in front of them. Then as we started to become more of a digital operation, you imagine you consumer to be someone sitting down at their desk to get to their office with a cup of coffee reading the homepage of The Washington Post. Again, people with basically one source and enough time to focus on it. Now when I try to imagine my consumer, the reader that I’m trying to reach, I think of basically imagine someone who’s been, if you can imagine someone who’s been caught up in a tornado and fired out the other side, right? They’re confused, they’re like covered in garbage, they don’t know what end is up, and they just need sort of a place to start, a thread to follow.A place to sort of get their bearings. So I’m conscious of trying to reach readers who are lost in a tornado of news, both because they have so many news outlets to take in news from, and also because of Donald Trump, the news moves so much faster than it used to. There’s so much more political news, which is what I write about. What seemed like a big deal on Monday, you forgotten even happened on Wednesday. How many of you have forgotten the Scaramucci era already, which was like, I don’t know, like a month ago? Now we don’t even remember that guy existed. So that’s how fast things move. Last year and this year I’ve tried to adapt what I do to use the tools of social media and regular journalism to try to reach an audience and hold an audience that’s in the middle of that tornado.So the first lesson that I tried to apply was to let people into my reporting process. To show people how I do what I do, what I want to know, how I know the things that I do know, and to let them sort of follow it along a little bit at a time. The first experience I had with this was actually right after I told you, Corey Lewandowski called me and said Trump had given his million dollars but it was all secret. So how do I go about checking that? There’s no, if you’re trying to use the traditional tools of reporting, making phone calls, sending emails, knocking on doors, there’s nowhere to start there, right? Because I don’t have any leads about who the money might have gone to and there’s too many veterans charities in America to just call ’em all. So I decided okay, I’m gonna try to involve the public in this and show people what I’m doing in the hopes that they’ll spread my query far and wide. So I went on Twitter and started tweeting at veteran’s advocates, veteran’s associations, veteran’s charities, veteran’s magazines.Anybody that I thought would have an audience of veterans and said hey do you know anybody who’s gotten even one dollar of this money that Donald Trump said he’s giving away? He’s giving away a million dollars he says, do you know anybody who’d gotten any of it? And please pass this on, re-tweet this, make sure people can see it because I’m trying to prove, I’m not trying to prove a negative. I’m not trying to prove that Donald Trump didn’t give money away. I’m trying to prove him right. I’m trying to find any evidence that he did what he says he did. So I spent that day tweeting at people and it got a lot of pick-up. A lot of people paid attention, and my query because something that was seen by a lot of people. And I wanted to make sure it was seen by Trump too, so I included @RealDonaldTrump in all the queries. We know then and now he spends a lot of time searching Twitter for his own name. So after a day of that, right? Were they interested in my search? I’ve gotten a lot of attention for the search that I was making to try to find Donald Trump’s donations.What I hadn’t found were Donald Trump’s donations. Everybody that had gotten back to me, all of the veterans groups said, “We haven’t gotten any money from him. “We don’t know of anybody that got money from him.” So at the end of that day I sort of felt like maybe this is a waste of time. Maybe social media’s, I felt like the oldest person in the world basically. That I had tried this thing the kids like, and it was horrible and I wasn’t gonna ever do it again.(audience laughs) But it turned out that Donald Trump had been paying attention. He had been watching this search that I was doing using his name and that night he actually gave the money away. So when I’d been told days earlier that Trump had given the money away, that was a lie. The money was still in Trump’s pocket. Only after I had made this public search, Trump actually gave a million dollars all in one fell swoop to this charity that he knew very well run by a friend of his.So Trump called me to say that he’d done this. This was actually the last time that I talked to him. He called me to say that he’d done this, and I said, “Well, you promised this money “back in late January. “Why’d it take you till May to give it away? And he said, “Well, I had to vet the group “that I was helping. “I had to vet the group that I gave a million dollars to.” It happened that I knew that the group he gave the million dollars to, they had given him the year before a Man of the Year Award in a big black tie gala at the Waldorf Astoria. This charity spent a whole night celebrating Donald Trump.I said after that you had to vet them? And he said, “Oh yeah, it’s true.” And I said, “Well, did you just give this money away now “because I was asking about it? “If I hadn’t asked about this money, “would it still be in your pocket? And he called me a nasty guy. And he didn’t answer the question. And I haven’t talked to him since. (audience laughing) But I learned from that sort of the first lesson, the first of three lessons, which was to involve people, involve your audience, in what you’re doing. Give them something every day. There’s so much else going on, make sure they have a way to follow what you’re doing. So the next step after that, after Trump gave the million dollars away, finally gave away the rest of other people’s money that he had been sitting on to veterans, my editor, Marty Barron, who I think is going to come to W and L in March, said let’s go back.Let’s look back into Trump’s life. If he was willing to basically try to weasel out of a commitment to veterans, the most honored group in our society, and he was gonna try to do that under the spotlight of a presidential campaign, the brightest spotlight we have in American journalism other than perhaps like Taylor Swift’s relationships or something like that. But we don’t really have a spotlight that’s greater than presidential candidates get and he was gonna try to get out from his commitment even under that spotlight. So let’s go back and look before now, before he ran for president. Did he make promises to give to charity that he didn’t fulfill? And got away with it because the only people watching were Entertainment Tonight. So that was the next phase of this reporting. It was to sort of cast the lens back, cast the spotlight back into Trump’s life and then we found he had been promising to give away the proceeds of the Celebrity Apprentice, proceeds of Trump University, a bunch of other.He once rented a tent to Muammar Gaddafi for $400,000 and he was going to give the proceeds of that away. Let’s see if he actually gave that money away like he promised. And that’s when I started making this list. I tried to make a list of all the charities I thought that Donald Trump was closest to. Charities he tweeted about, charities that he had hosted events at Mar-a-lago that had paid him money, anybody that I thought if Donald Trump was gonna give money away, he’d give money to these groups. And I’ll start calling them. So I started making a list of everybody that I called and asked has Donald Trump ever given you money out of his own pocket? Started posting it on Twitter again to show people, to bring them into my reporting to see that they, both so they could follow it day to day even when there was not an individual story and also so they trust the outcome of it cause they could see it more.That’s the first lesson. Second lesson was to that process, sort of the social media process and telling readers about your work, it’s not just one way. It’s not just me talking to people. Information comes back and I wasn’t even really expecting this in the beginning but I started to get tips, information, leads, from readers. And eventually learned that I could ask them for things, and they would go find thing that I had sort of lost hope that I could ever find.So not only am I involving them and sort of showing them what I’m doing, but I’m now involving them in the process. Alicia mentioned one great example, which was a portrait of Donald Trump. So I should say he had something called The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which was a tax-exempt non-profit. And one of the most basic rules of having a non-profit is even if it has your name on it, it is not your money.It is the non-profit’s money. And so once the money goes into the non-profit, it must be spent on charitable outcomes. It must be used for the good of the public. You can’t use it, for instance, to buy things, to decorate the walls of your business or your home. So we found out that Trump had spent $10,000 on this portrait of himself, and we wanted to know where is the portrait? Is it hanging on the wall of a children’s hospital? Is it decorating the wall of veterans’ clinic or something or is it hanging on the wall of his bar? So how do you go about that, right? I only know what the picture looks like, and I know when he bought it, which is in 2014, but I have no idea where it is.And I was thinking well, I could hire a freelancers to go to all the Trump hotels, golf courses, that are open to the public. That’s not that many of them. A lot of them are private clubs. And so they might find something, they might not. It might be at his house, it might be buried in the yard. So what I do was I, even if that process was going work it was gonna take days. So I just put it out on Twitter and said look, here’s this picture that I’m looking for. I know what it looks like, but I don’t know where it is. And incredibly a reader of mine in Atlanta, Allison Aguilar, somebody I’ve never met. She’s a short story writer. She had two insights upon looking at this picture. One, it was too ugly for Trump to keep in his own home. Two, that the way to look for it would be on TripAdvisor, and so she went to TripAdvisor, which as those of you who use it know, any hotel, any resort, people can post their photos of when they stayed there.So she went to Trump’s golf resort at Dural outside Miami. There’s 500 photos. I mean like people’s bathrooms, the one end of the buffet, the other end of the buffet, like the green. Thing that you wonder why anyone was like you know what people need to see is my bathroom. But they did. So there’s 500 photos, and she’s scrolling through them 20 at a time, and in the middle of that 500 photos, she finds a picture from February 2016 of some guy standing next to the Trump portrait that I’m looking for hanging on the wall of a sports bar at Dural. Okay, so that’s great, we now know. She tweets it at me. Now we know where the portrait was in February 2016. We need to know where it is.And again this happened like at eight o’clock that night, and I was like okay well tomorrow I’ll hire a guy in Miami to go look. That night a anchor at Univision, the Spanish language TV network, realizes that Dural was four blocks away from his studio, sees my tweet, Dural is four blocks away. His newscast ends at midnight. His name is Enrique Acevedo. His newscast ends at midnight. At midnight he makes a reservation to go to Dural. He used points, he didn’t use money ’cause he didn’t want to give Donald Trump any money. And he goes to Dural which is closing up for the night. It’s midnight on like a Wednesday. He convinces the cleaning crew to let him in to the sports bar, and there it is hanging on the wall.So in 14 hours we went from no idea where in the world this thing is, if it even still exists, to a picture of it on the wall breaking the law. That sort of thing would have been impossible if I hadn’t asked people to sort of participate in this process and given, you know try to open a channel with readers so they could go look for things that I as a journalist didn’t know how to find. As a postscript to that, Trump sent out, the Trump Campaign sent out a spokesman, Borris Epstein, to explain that, and he said, “Okay, I know it looks like “the Trump charity did a favor for the Trump business “by buying art to decorate the wall of the bar, “but really the business is doing the charity a favor “by storing its art collection on the wall.” (audience laughs) And so I asked, you have to report on these things, I asked a tax law expert about that. Does this hold water as a legal defense? And he said it’s really hard to make an IRS auditor laugh.(audience laughing) But this would do it, this would do it. (audience laughs) So first two lessons, let people watch your process in action, let people into the process so they can help. They can offer insights. The third thing was to always be thinking about people who’ve lost the thread. Always be thinking about people who’ve been distracted by the thousands of different controversies that Donald Trump was involved in last year. Things that would have killed another candidate as we all know, he would be the news of one day for him and instead of setting off a news cycle that would last for weeks, just the next day he’d do something else that was sort of outrageous. So he’d insult a judge, he’d attack Miss Universe, he insulted John McCain. It all sort of blended together and so it was hard for people to keep track of the news of even several days earlier. So part of my job is if I think this story’s important, to give you a way to follow it.And so that meant for me on social media I have this notebook. I’m posting it on Twitter every day. You can see the changes that I’ve made. You can see the progress that I’ve made. And you could see these sort of when I find some sort of incremental story, a little side story off this, I’ll post that story with a picture of the notebook. So in your social media feed, there’s a million other things but nothing that looks like what I’m doing.And so you go oh yeah, it’s the notebook guy. I remember what he’s doing. And you could pick it up and follow it. You can remember what I’m doing. Also I’ve tried to create stories, to write content that is aimed specifically at people who have lost the thread. Who have forgotten what the back-story was. For a long time journalists were, even after we had the limitless resources of the internet and all the possible ways of displaying stories and telling stories, we continued to write as we did before when we just had the print paper, which was when I have some news to tell you, I’m gonna write a story about it. They’ll have an AP lead and it’ll have a inverted pyramid style. And then when it’s done I’m not gonna write again until I have some more news to report. And that’s some irregular period of time.That could be two days, that could be a week. And so if you, in the middle of that time, and say what was the deal with that guy and the notebook and the charities. And you go to our website, there’s nothing in between. There’s just the last story I wrote and you don’t know when I’m gonna write a story again. I’ve tried to think about people like that that want to sort of catch up, write stories that sort of live, kind of like a Wikipedia entry, so that if you’ve lost the tread you can log on there and see exactly what the state of things are. An example of that is this year, I’m now covering the Trump businesses. The Trump Organization, the golf courses, the hotels, Mar-a-Lago. I’ve learned a lot about Palm Beach and golf courses this year. And so this summer after the events of Charlottesville when President Trump’s comments about them, a lot of charities started quitting Mar-a-Lago. People that had slated themselves to give Donald Trump a lot of money this coming winter to hold charity galas there, started quitting.And so everyday there were a couple of more so I started a list, and started crossing off names in a notebook and tweeting that out. So if you follow my Twitter feed, you can follow the progress, but also writing a story that every day, it’s sort of a Q and A story, that every day changes. Every time there’s an update, we update it so you can be confident that if you’re reading that, you’re seeing the most up to date news. So those are the three lessons that I learned. Let people into your process, involve people in the reporting process, trust your readers to send you information.Ask them for information. And then be conscious of people who’ve lost the thread and try to reach them. So I want to just as a last thing before I take questions say what I would like readers to think about, if you’re a reader of the news, what would I recommend in terms of how to stay sane now? How to feel like you’re not just overwhelmed by it? And also how to feel like you’re getting the most out of it.And I would say a couple of things. Try to avoid, you can’t entirely avoid it, but try to not let opinion journalism or hot takes and analysis substitute for news. Opinion journalism, it’s fine but it’s the fudge of journalism. You should really eat it rarely, enjoy it, find stuff you really like, but don’t waste calories on it. And don’t waste calories on bad opinions or rote opinions, people who are going to say the same thing no matter what.Try to avoid hot takes, analysis of what’s going to happen in politics because I feel like that now is often based on the past. People who know the past but will now try to tell you how the past predicts the future. I think if we’ve learned anything in 2016 and 2017, it’s the past is a poor guide to the future. Read the facts, understand what’s happening rather than hearing somebody’s opinion about what might happen. And the last thing is part of the experience of reading news is learning who to trust. And now that there’s not one newspaper in your town, now there’s not that your news sources aren’t sort of chosen for you by geography, that’s a great thing, but you have to now think about who has led me astray. Who’s been right? When I look at my Twitter feed, my Facebook feed, remember okay well I read Number One USA Patriot News, and it told me Hillary was going to go to jail, and they were wrong.So let’s remember that and not trust them again. Remember sources, remember people, who you like. And remember people that you don’t like. Remember people that have let you astray and get them out of your life. Those are the things I think that people that go back again and again to trusting sources that are not reliable. Does anybody know who Louise Mensch is? Okay, a sort of liberal conspiracy theory that has been feeding Democrats this theory that Donald Trump is gonna be indicted and perhaps deported to Russia sometime tomorrow for weeks. And one time she was saying that Donald Trump was gonna be arrested by the marshal of the Supreme Court who was a person that does not exist. But thousands of people continue to follow her cause she feeds, even though she is wrong all the time, she feeds a desire they have to see Donald Trump kicked out of office.Remember people that have led you astray and don’t let them into your life. The last thing I wanted to say is one of the lessons we’ve tried to learn as journalists is that we can’t absorb the idea which Steve Bannon and President Trump have espoused at times that we in the media are the opposition party. We’re the opposition, we’re at war. We’re the enemy of the people, and we’re at war with the Trump administration or with the Republican Party or whoever. Embracing that idea for us is so destructive because what do you do in a war? You break rules, you don’t follow conventions. The only thing that matters is winning. And if we do that, if we take in the idea that we can break our own rules, we can get rid of our own standards because we have to win or beat somebody, we lose the thing that makes us valuable which is our credibility.So our editor, Marty Barron, has often said we’re not at war, we’re just at work. And that’s a maxim that I’ve tried to live in my life but also I’d like you as readers to look for it in the sources that you trust. If you see anybody you think is at war with anyone and making journalism, writing stories, that only fits the narrative of that war, get rid of ’em. They’re not helping you understand the world better. So with that I will stop and say I’d welcome your questions. (audience applause) Who’d like to go first? It was that good of a talk. Oh yes, right here. Sir, you work for The Washington Post, correct?Yes.I always read it every day this summer and I noticed back in about March you put democracy dies in darkness below the headline. What exactly does that mean to you and the organization itself. Not to quote you. It’s a great question. So The Post recently adopted this slogan. The Times always had all the news that’s fit to print. We never had a slogan until this year. Now our slogan is democracy dies in darkness, which is very goth. It’s very extreme in a way that we were not… The short answer is that we’re owned now by Jeff Bezos, the guy who owns Amazon. He’s given us lots of money and lots ambition and really helped us in a lot of incredible ways.He likes that slogan. And apparently Bob Woodward, the famous Watergate Bob Woodward says it, Bezos likes it. It’s like the one thing he’s suggested we do to the paper so people said great. To me I worry that people take it as sort of implicit thing that we only added it because we added it while Donald Trump is president, that it’s some sort of commentary by us on what we think is about to happen.Or Donald Trump’s intentions for the country is darkness and we’re trying to protect the country from that. To me it means that our job is to bring information about the country, to bring sort of accountability to every part of the government and if you don’t have that kind of sunlight, if you don’t have that kind of accountability, the government can’t function. So it’s been added in the Trump era but I don’t think we’ve taken it as like okay before we were letting things slide, now we’re going to be serious about democracy. But I’m glad you asked that because it has been a big change. Officially a general question comes on the state of media in 2017, and so we’ve seen a lot of polls that gives us a general feeling that American’s lost faith in the media and some of that’s because of Trump’s badgering you guys.I remember my journalism professor saying yesterday that they’ve kind of brought it upon themselves and one step that kinda stood out was that like 96% of journalists that donated to a campaign donated to Hillary this year and so just like how do you combat this and work to stay objective in the new media age? So that’s a great question. So asking about how the media can sort of both, two things. How do we make sure we are objective and unbiased? And how do we convince people that we are? And how do we reach people that may think that we’re not? And so I’ve seen the same statistics that you have about journalists donating to Hillary Clinton. I think some cases, they have an expansive idea of who they count as a journalist.Some people who are obvious about their opinions in their stories are counted as journalists. Still, I wish that number was zero. I wish people didn’t give money to any political candidate. We use to have an editor at The Post who didn’t vote. He believed that he couldn’t ever be impartial even if he just made up his mind in the voting booth, that he couldn’t vote. So, there is I think a lack of trust in us, and I think that has been going on for a long time. Trump has sort of made it explicit. He’s talked about it in a way, sort of attacked our credibility in a way that other people have not done quite so explicitly. I think it’s a challenge to us in a couple of ways. One, we have to be more cognizant of the fact that a lot of people are coming to read about Washington politics, just taking my own paper for example, that didn’t care that much about it before, right? Before people cared a lot about the presidential election, and when the election was over, the interest kind of dropped off because you assumed that like, okay that was over, now I can go back to my life.Now people, because of Trump, either because they’re excited about him or because they’re worried about him, are paying much more attention to us. People who are not regular readers of The Post. So I think it’s important to recognize that these are people who don’t know the Washington Post name or don’t trust it. And I think part of our job has to be, I talked about showing our work, to show to people how we know what we know, how you can rely on our information, be more explicit about the kinds of reporting we do that backs things up, and to be more open to criticism about the way we do our job.One of the things that I started doing last year on this score was there was one time when I wrote a story about the Trump Foundation. I sent the Trump Campaign all these questions about different things I’d found in the Foundation that seemed to be wrong or weird, and they didn’t respond at all. Then my story came out, and they took the answers that I had asked for and gave them to CNN, so CNN could have me on and sort of surprise me, and say, “Well, we found problems in your reporting. “The Trump Campaign has pointed out X, Y, Z “your story was missing.” And I realize that a lot of people when they’re reading your story, the Trump Campaign declined to comment. They imagine that you just yelled at them, “Would you like to comment?” And they’re like, “No.” And you’re like, “Okay, thanks.” But no, like I sent them a long detailed list of questions and gave them all these ways they could explain what seemed to me like anomalies in that case, in their tax returns, the Foundation’s tax returns.So I started posting my questions on Twitter too. I didn’t just ask them for comment. I asked them these questions. So if they want to, you know, they had this chance to explain these things, and they didn’t. That’s one small thing. The other thing about bias, though, is that in Washington, D.C., we live in a world where people that I, the parents at my kids school, the other people that I’m around in general, and this is true in New York as well, are liberal. They’re liberal people, and you have to make sure, you know, that you don’t pick up something from the world that you live in, people that you’re around that biases the stories you write, particularly in the way that you, you have to be open to the idea that things that, journalists like to use themselves as like a sort a proxy for the country, right? What surprises me should surprise readers.And some part of that is natural, but you have to be more careful about thinking about what other people find interesting, what other people find surprising, and sort of cast a wider net. For me that means reading a lot of conservative media, reading people who make arguments about the Trump Era from a conservative point of view, reading a lot of opinion journalism to sort of get a sense of other ways of viewing a particular issue. I think it’s something that we struggle to overcome and sometimes fail to overcome. We have to be very conscious about it now because we have this bigger audience, okay. Who else? Yes. What are the facts versus Trump’s claims on his giving? You’re talking about the Harvey donations? Over the time you were talking about.So, if we look back at going back to the 80s, so we started the Donald J. Trump Foundation in 1987 to take royalties from the book, The Art of the Deal. So before that, in the early 80s, he’d given some money to charity. He’d given a million dollars to a Vietnam Veterans’ memorial in New York City. He gave some money to the Trump Foundation, which then it gave away. But then in the 90s he stopped giving that much money to the Trump Foundation, and then eventually in 2009, he completely stopped giving money. And only other people gave money to the Trump Foundation, which he gave away to people who thought they were getting Trump’s money. So it’s a weird convention. It was a weird thing to do because a lot of rich people obviously have charities with their name on it, right? And the assumption always, is that if you get money from the David A.Farenthold Foundation, it’s David A. Farenthold’s money. Trump exploited that convention because he would have other people give money to the Trump Foundation. He would give it away. Because it was so unusual to have a personal foundation giving away other people’s money, people assumed they were getting money from him. So sometimes he would promise money and then give money from the Trump Foundation, which wasn’t his originally. Often he just wouldn’t give the money away. Trump University made five million dollars. It didn’t give any money away. The Celebrity Apprentice, he said he’d give the money away. He gave nothing. In some cases, he would actually, I found one time when he actually went to a banquet for a charity that supported Israeli soldiers, and he stood up at the banquet and said, “I’ll give $275,000 and then didn’t.Someone else had to give it for him. So what I found was that he had this sort of image of himself that he wanted to portray. Like Bruce Wayne is a good example, a son of a rich Playboy figure with a heart of gold. His excesses as a person, as sort of a wealthy guy who had all these wives and girlfriends were balanced by his generosity. He was sort of impetuously and grandiosely generous. And so that’s why he was always promising to give money to charity one way or the other. But when it came time to actually make good on that in private, he often would try to find a way to do it with somebody else’s money, or he wouldn’t do it at all. My favorite story about Trump’s giving, kind of behind the scenes, the reality of his giving was, so there’s a thing in Palm Beach called Palm Beach Police Foundation.It’s this big charity that supports police officers in this small town where he has Bar Mar-a-Lago is. And so they have a big banquet every year at Mar-a-Lago, which is an incredibly expensive. It pays $275,000 for one night. That’s one night’s gala at Mar-a-Lago gets $275,000 from this charity for their big gala. So they’re an important customer of Trump’s. A few years ago, he decides he wants to give them a donation. But he doesn’t give his own money. He doesn’t give the Trump Foundation’s money. What he does is he calls a friend of his, the widow of the friend of his, a friend of his who’s just died.The widow is running the foundation that’s set up in the friend’s name, and he says, “Hey listen, I’m raising money “for the Palm Beach Police Foundation. “Will you donate some?” And these people have a Palm Beach connection, so they’re like sure. He says, “Okay, well don’t give it straight to them.”Give it to me, and I’ll give it to them.” So they give, I think, $200,000 from their foundation to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, assuming that Trump is going to bundle it together with other money, add some of his, give it all in one big bunch to the Palm Beach Police Foundation. Instead, he takes their money, $200,000, adds nothing of his own, gives it to the Palm Beach Police Foundation as a donation from the Trump Foundation. As a reward, the Police Foundation, they come back to Mar-a-Lago. They give Trump this giant crystal palm tree, like literally this tall as a man-of-the-year for his philanthropy, when all he’d done was pass along somebody else’s money. The crazy thing about that to me was that often rich people, I would imagine, people who were billionaires, would spend money to save time, right? If you have a billion dollars, instead of going through all this hassle, okay, I’ll give $200,0000 out of my own pocket to this charity, but that was a lot of work for him to arrange this thing for somebody else’s money to come through.He spent a lot of time to avoid giving any money of his own and to have the appearance that he had. I thought that was a really interesting insight into his character. Since he’s been president, he has made good on a couple of promises. He said he would give away his presidential salary, and he has, and he said he was going to give a million dollars to Hurricane Harvey victims, and as far as I can tell, he did. So that behavior has changed since he’s been under the spotlight of the presidency. But for a long time, if he could have the appearance of philanthropy without the substance of it, he often would. Who else? I have a question for you.Yes. Right when the fake news thing was blowing up, you came out with a story that was another example of fake news that you found by going to his clubs. This is a really funny story. So Trump has golf clubs all over the country now, and so part of my job is to cover the golf clubs. In one of the golf clubs, I found a member who would let me in to have dinner with him just so I could see the place. We’re eating there. As we’re leaving, in the clubs he often has magazine covers featuring himself. Many of them are legitimate. They’re real magazine covers.He was on a lot of magazine covers. But there was one I walked by, a Time Magazine cover. It looked odd to me because Time Magazine never has a cover, at least that I’ve seen, where the theme is like this guy is awesome, and then the subhead would be like, extra awesome. And like, you’ve never seen that. You’ve never seen a Time Magazine that does a story about one guy and saying how great he is, but there was a Time Magazine on the wall of this golf club that was like, Donald J. Trump is hitting on all cylinders, or hitting on all fronts. It wasn’t even like a correct metaphor. Hitting on all fronts. And then the subhead was like, he really is, even on TV. It was fake.You could look at it, any journalist student in this room could look at it and go, that’s fake. But there it was on the wall. I took a picture of it while I was there and called Time Magazine to then confirm that it wasn’t like Canadian Time Magazine or something. It was fake. And then we used now because I knew the skills of TripAdvisor, we used TripAdvisor to find it on the wall of a bunch of other golf clubs that Trump had.And we actually sent freelancers out to confirm that it was there. So that’s a really perplexing thing to me, because it had been in his office in Trump Tower. It’s in Mar-a-Lago. He’d seen it a number of times. And I think it’s possible that he didn’t know it was fake. It’s around the time of 2009, I think sort of a low point for the Apprentice’s ratings. I think it’s possible someone in the organization made this and showed it to him, and he was like, “Wow, I’m on the cover of Time Magazine!” And had it reproduced everywhere. Because it wasn’t just one.It wasn’t like just a novelty that somebody did. You could see if there was just one, people might say, “Well, we made it as a joke, “but some employee didn’t understand that “and hung it on the wall.” It was everywhere. There was an effort to distribute this fake Time Magazine cover across his empire. So they never answered my question about whether he knew it was fake or not. It’s possible he didn’t. Maybe he was not even in on the joke. But yes, that was a literal fake news that I found just by walking around his clubs. (a man in audience laughing) Yes. I’m curious about the recent revelations that Facebook and fake news, that they put out, and what effect that might have had on the election and whether The Post was involved in any way with that? So you guys have probably seen there’s been revelations in the last few weeks that Facebook had taken, we already knew during the election, there were Macedonian teenagers making fake news, fake political news and sort of putting it into Facebook, where it got shared by people, and the Macedonian teenagers made money off the adds.So things like, Pope endorses Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton to be indicted. Things that were completely made up, but done for profit by people. In addition, we’re now learning in the last few weeks that the Russian government actually had bought ads on Facebook, apparently in a way that Facebook didn’t realize what they were. They were not so much vote Donald Trump, although I think some of them were, but a lot of them were aimed at just stoking divisions in American society. You know promoting Texas secession, promoting anti-muslim beliefs, you know, trying to drive people apart and heighten partisan tensions on both sides.And Facebook, I think, we had a story the other day saying that Obama himself, President Obama had actually taken Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook aside after the election and said, “You guys were part of this. “You were infiltrated in a way that you didn’t understand.” I think Facebook itself is just beginning to come to grips with the power of this. You know, their whole model is based on the idea that they’re a platform for speech, but they’re not publishers. They don’t control the speech. They take down the violent or pornographic content, but they don’t police what you say. If they did, they’d have to spend a lot more money, they’d make a lot less money. So they’re just a platform, and they’ve tried to be as hands off as they can about what goes across that platform.And I think they’re recognizing that that was exploited by the Russians and maybe other people too. So I don’t know what the answer to that will be to that from Facebook. They clearly realize it’s a problem. It’s been funny to watch Mark Zuckerberg, who three months ago was like milking cows in Iowa, like he was going to run for president, and now he’s sort of recognized that his own organization has these flaws that he didn’t recognize and hasn’t fixed. So some of it may be impossible, to fix them.It may be impossible to stop, but it’s going to be interesting to see Facebook trying to grapple with its role. Because Zuckerberg clearly thinks of himself as like a beneficent Titan of America. His technology has made the world better. It’s connected everybody. It’s made all these things possible. And I think that he did not, at least in public, grapple with this weakness that people seem to have exploited.So, I’m from Texas, as I said. One of the crazy things that people have found lately has been that the Russians started a Texas Secession Facebook page. And if you look at the memes, they were clearly written by someone who English was not their first language. But by the thousands, people joined. It was like, “You know he’s from Texas “when you like Whataburger.” All the grammar was wrong, but people were like, “Yep, share that.” So it’s amazing to me that worked, but they were doing that.And I’m sure they’re doing it for California Secession and other things too and try to fracture the country more. Yes? I wonder if you talked about this strategy of letting people into your reporting process, and I’m wondering since your big Donald Trump Foundation donation story, have you tried to do that in the last six months? Have you found it to be effective on other stories? Was this one story kind of uniquely conducive to it? Or have you been able to kind of further that model? I have treed to use this in the last few months. And one good example was the fake Time Magazine cover, you know, because we could get into some clubs, but a lot of them are private, so there aren’t TripAdvisor pages, but when I put that out, other people, mostly like news photographers, or other people, you know, people were like, “Yeah, I was just in the men’s room “at the Bedminster Club, and look here it is.” A photographer with Tampa Bay Times had caught it on the wall of Mar-a-Lago.So that was the best example. I’ve learned two lessons about that technique. One of them is that I have a lot of followers now, which is wonderful, but it means that I can’t be like a passive thing for me. I can’t jus say, hey, I want to find X, come back in 12 hours and look at my mentions and see who has responded. There’s just too much stuff. I’d miss a lot of stuff. So if I’m going to do it, like this week we’re trying to figure out if any NBA teams have stopped staying at the Trump hotels or NFL teams have stopped staying at the Trump hotels because of this latest controversy.So if I say, “Hey, does about know if NBA teams “used to stay in the Trump Hotel in Chicago or New York?” I can’t just come back 12 hours later. I have to like watch it because otherwise it gets buried. So it is useful, but because of the audience I have, I have to spend more time actively looking through it. The other thing is you have to be so careful that no matter what, if you’re crowd sourcing information about anything, that you make yourself, the journalist, the filter between what comes in and what goes out. Just to give you an example, a few weeks ago, The Huffington Post did this thing about Trump’s inaugural donors.So the Trump inaugural committee took in all these donations. They released a list saying here’s like 15,000 people who gave to our inauguration. So Huffington Post wanted people to. They made a spreadsheet out of that, posted it online and said, “Look, readers, “go through these and make sure that the names “and addresses match. “See if you can learn anything about who these people are.” You know, if there’s a name here and they gave a million dollars. Is that person the CEO of a defense contractor? Is it like a Russian ambassador? Who are these people? And so they said, “Okay, readers, pick a name. “Email us what you found about them, “And then we’ll have like 15 volunteers “who are not journalists, but their sort of like “super readers, and they’ll collect it all “and add it to the spreadsheet.” The problem with that is if you don’t make the journalists the choke point between what’s coming in and what’s going out, people don’t understand rules about like libel, and factual accuracy, and things like that.So these readers, the people that they had deputized to be the filter, they were getting things where some reader would be like, this guy’s name’s Dave Farenthold. I think he might be in the Mafia, you know, and so then they would put that on the spreadsheet, you know like, might be in mafia. (audience laughing) So that’s not on The Huffington Post website, but it’s now something that if you were to sue them, you could argue that it had been created by The Huffington Post. So I think things like that are a lesson, that even if you’re not being hoaxed, even if there’s no malicious intent, you have to apply the standards of proof and the fear of being sued to all the information that comes in before you send it out, which again, is time consuming.But these are things you just couldn’t do, or it would be much more time-consuming to do without reader help. Who else? When Trump was first elected, there was a lot of concern and articles about the conflicts of interest between the presidency and his business interests. And then it seems that topic has been overtaken by a lot of other concerns, but I wonder if you could maybe bring us up to date on what steps were taken to make sure that there are not conflicts of interest and whether you think those are happening. So the question is about Trump’s conflicts of interest by owning and sort of pretending to benefit from this large business that has a lot of diverse set of customer in the White House. What’s being done about it? Governmentally is basically nothing. The president is, at least as far as we can tell, under the current application of the law, there’s not a lot of constraints on the president.There’s all kinds of rules about other people in government, but the president, it’s thought that the voters choose the president, so the voters should sort out people who wouldn’t have conflicts of interest, so there’s not a lot of legal things that prevent him from doing what he’s doing. Obviously there’s bribery statutes. If we thought someone was bribing the president to do a particular action, that’s illegal, but just owning a business and having customers while being president, that’s not illegal.There are some people who have sued the president over something that’s an obscure clause in the Constitution called the Emoluments Clause, which was designed to stop, when we were a young, poor country, often like foreign kings would bribe our ambassadors by giving them big jewels, and so we wanted to have a law that said you couldn’t take bribes, basically, or payments from foreign states. So the president is barred from accepting emoluments, is the word they used, from foreign princes or foreign governments.No, presidents have not generally had businesses like this, and so this has been like dusty clause. It’s never really been tested. There are actually in testament to the diversity of the field of law, there are people who studied this clause, even though it’s never been used, and they have a set of beliefs about what it actually, does it really apply to the president? Does an emolument cover like if the Saudi government pays for a hotel room, is that an emolument? If a Saudi government pays a million dollars for a hotel, is that an emolument? So there’s a law suit going on in district court in New York about this brought by people who say that they’ve lost business from foreign governments to the Trump Hotel in New York or D.C.I think the people who’ve brought that law suit, their great hope was that it would advance far enough to the discovery phase, and they could request Trump’s tax returns and make them public as a way of showing what his actual intake of income from foreign governments is. I don’t think that they really believe that they’re going to win, or that the judge will tell Trump to divest himself from his company. We don’t know.It’s still in the very early stages of that. So what we’ve been doing is trying to just sort of lay out who Trump does business with. What we found in just sort of countervailing interesting trends. So Trump has a hotel in D.C., right down the street from the White House that does a lot of business, is raking the money in. It’s exceeded its own revenue expectations by 400%. And it takes in a lot of money from foreign governments, from trade associations, and there’s all kinds of trade associations. Like the funeral directors, the candy makers, the forklift operators have a trade association. So people that want to influence the government, the mining operators are coming there later this week. People that want to influence the government stay there, and they’re making a lot of money off that.So that business is going well. In the rest of the country, though, Trump put his golf clubs and hotels. The customer base that he had built that business on is the inverse of his voter base. His voter base is largely rural. It’s in the middle of the country. It’s ex-urban. His businesses are all on the coasts, almost all on liberal enclaves right on the coast, and so he’s dependent on those places on largely democrats, but definitely people in blue states to be members there, but also to like have their weddings there and have their PTA spring fling there, and have their golf tournaments there. So he’s losing customers there from people who now see doing business with the Trump Club as political when they are an apolitical charity. We’re just the Taco Bell Owners Association of New Jersey. We’re not political. We’re going to hold our golf tournaments somewhere else. So I don’t know what the upshot is, if the losses are greater than the gains, how it all works, but it is interesting to watch.To me, I think the losses are as interesting as the gains because if one of his golf clubs starts losing members and revenue from its events and starts financially struggling, and he has to either declare bankruptcy on it or get an infusion of cash from somebody to make it work, well, the person who comes into save Trump Dural or Trump Bedminster, how much would the president owe that person? And so I think it’s important to understand the relationship on both sides. I don’t think that there’s going to be some kind of magic bullet from outside, from the court system or the legal system that will stop all this or like punish him somehow, but I think it’s really important to tell readers that it’s going on.What do you see in a president who challenges in news judgment, deciding what’s newsworthy when covering someone that just has so much content every day and then on that whether there be a point in measures to work in where Trump’s outlandishness starts to blend in and then just like massive share of daily headlines, constraints on the level of a normal president? That’s a really good question. I think the way we’re adapting, we’re already sort of adapting in a way, not as much as we should I think, but we have. In the past, when a president spoke, the president sort of didn’t speak that much about policy, and when they did, it was usually, you would write about what the White House is considering and what the president is saying because it was usually kind of a guide to what the president was going to do, right? The president would make a statement about I think X is an important problem.That means that the president is going to take some action on X in a week, and if you got a leak from the White House that they’re considering this policy move, it’s a sign that they’re going to do it in a week, and they want to put it out there sort of as a trial balloon. So we were conditioned to write stories, the White House is considering this or that. The president says this or that.But there’s been so many times when Trump has said something about a topic and then done nothing about it. I mean think about him saying he was going to declare a national emergency for opioid stuff. It was like two months ago, and he hasn’t done it. During the transition, he was like, “I’m going to send the feds into Chicago.” He didn’t do that.And so we’ve stopped covering, I think, those in the way we would have done it if Obama had said it, because they’re not a great reliable guide to Trump’s actions. Same thing with the stories about what the White House is considering. We’re still doing that, but we should do it less because it often means that like one person in the White House is considering it. And this the White House with all kinds of warring factions, so the fact that one guy in the White House is considering this or that, doesn’t really mean it’s going to happen. In fact, they may be telling us because they want Trump to read it in the paper and then to do it, right? We may be part of the consideration. So I think we’re trying to cover those things less. I do think that there will be a point of diminishing returns for Trump. He’s been very good at getting people to sort of constantly be like ginned up about one thing or another.The NFL thing is a great example, right? Like we could be talking about Puerto Rico. We could be talking about the North Korea possible nuclear showdown. We’re talking about the NFL. He’s just good at picking fights, but the longer it goes on, I think people get bored by him. And the worst thing for him would be if people get bored by all this. If the people aren’t sort of swept up in the sort of daily news and feel invested in the daily fights he’s having with his enemies, you know democrats, other republicans, news media.If people are just bored, and they judge him by his actions, by what he’s done, I think he’s going to lose some popularity. So that day is coming slowly for Trump, but I think it is coming when people are just like, “Okay, I’ve heard this before, you know, what’s he doing?” What are historic editor’s expectations for you in terms of how often they expect to see you published, especially in light of what happened with the New York Times story about CNN and its investigative unit? Yes, so CNN, you’re all familiar with this story, CNN had an investigative unit that wrote a story about Anthony Scaramucci, I forget even about what it was, it was something about Russia, I think, and Scaramucci. And they, I guess, had rushed it, and they did not properly vet it with the right authorities at CNN, and it came out, I don’t know if it was ever proven to be false, or if Scaramucci challenged it, and the reporters, when they showed the editors, look this is the evidence we relied on to say this about Scaramucci.The editor thought it was insufficient and withdrew the story and fired off two reporters and an editor. So, I could be proven wrong, but I feel like it is something that would not happen at The Post because I think CNN is trying to add a capacity. It was sort of a new investigative unit, and they were trying to integrate digital and the TV. There’s not sort of like a unified command structure the way there is at The Post. The Post has a really good system. If they’re going to say something big, it goes to lawyers, it goes to top editors who have spent their whole lives vetting stories to make sure that they’re backed up. Now, it’s possible something gets through. It’s possible a reporter lies about what he or she has to rely on. But I think we’re better protected against that. That said, we’re, I mean, so much about the Trump Administration, especially the Russia story, which I don’t really cover, but I sit near the people that do, it’s so difficult to report on because everything is an on background source.There’s so much secrecy involved. And the part of the story that resides in Russia, there’s so much disinformation involved. So I know those folks have been so careful about reporting things because there’s so many different ways in which your story, you know, you need to make sure your story stands up. In terms of what the editors expect of me, the person who won the Pulitzer Prize at The Post before I did immediately took a two-year long book leave, so nobody saw her for two years.So the fact that I’m there at all is like a huge win for them. So the expectations have been lowered for me. To me the important thing is to try to, so I’m on this new beat, covering the Trump Organization, and Trump golf clubs, and everything else. It’s a whole world to map. You know, who the customers are, who the members are, where the locations are, what legal fights they’re in. So I felt like I went from last year, where on the Trump charity beat, where I knew everything. I knew all the different players. I knew where news was going to break. I knew the whole universe, to starting a new beat where this year everything that I learned, every new thing that I discovered, illuminates a whole world that I don’t know. And I’m like oh man, I didn’t know that. Now look at all this stuff that I need to learn. I’m finally feeling like I’m up to speed enough to have a grasp of news that’s breaking, what’s different, but it’s taken me a long time.So I had not been very productive, but hopefully will be more productive in the next few months. Still, I got like six months before they come after me. (audience laughing) Can I answer one more question? Yeah. In the back. So the recent election feature, Truth, Discovery, and the Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalism that these findings didn’t seem to make the same impact on the American populous as in previous cycles.Why do you think that was, and how did you and your colleagues deal with that potentially frustrating reality? So I’ll tell you a story, and then I’ll answer the question. Right after Access Hol–, so I was the one who broke the Access Hollywood story, and for like two weeks after that, or maybe a week after that, it seemed like this is the story that’s going to change the election. This was a turning point. I was interviewed in that period by a German reporter who was writing a story about how this amazing Access Hollywood thing changed the election, and in typical German jovialness, we go over the fact that I wrote this story, and it’s changed everything, and he says, “Do you think this was the peak of your life?” (audience laughing) And I was like, maybe, I don’t know, maybe.And then fast forward a month. The election comes and goes, Trump wins. Another German reporter interviewed me, and we talked about the whole election, wasn’t it crazy and everything. At the end, he was like, “Do you think that maybe “none of it mattered at all?” So I’ve really been, like really it’s not a very cheerful country. (audience laughing) So I will say, on the one hand, I never expected that any story of mine was going to swing the election.There’s two candidates in the election, both of whom were very flawed. Voters had to choose between those two. I’m not going to say I did something that should rule out one candidate. One candidate has to win because of this story that I wrote. So I never expected that I would change the outcome. It’s too complicated, and I think honestly that the thing that really changed the election, that gave Trump the win, rather than it being Russians or anything else, was Jim Comley’s letter saying that Hillary’s emails were back under investigation, which was a reference to a real scandal, something that Hillary Clinton really did.I think that was the deciding factor. I think if the order had been reversed, if that came first and Access Hollywood came second, the election might have turned out differently. So, I think that’s the. I wasn’t expecting the election to turn out that way. I was expecting my story to change the election. The goal for me was to show people Donald Trump. You know, this is a guy who spends his whole life constructing a facade about himself, as every politician does. What’s the reality of it, you know? Who is he really underneath it? Give people a sense of when he’s not in public, what kind of a person is he? Is he really? What kind of moral obligation does he really feel? He spent the whole election saying, “I care about you.”I care about you, the public.” I’m going to do things to help you, the public. Well, let’s look back at his life and say, when he had this fabulous wealth, and he told people that he cared about helping the public with that wealth, did he really do it? And I felt like I gave people that. I didn’t feel like there wasn’t any mystery to it. I showed people that part of his personality, so you could really understand him. And like what you do after that, how you vote after that, that’s not my job to affect. So I don’t think they’ll ever be a candidate like Trump again. Maybe I could be wrong, somebody like Trump might win in Alabama tonight in the senate primary.Maybe Kid Rocco will be president next time. I don’t think there will ever be a candidate like Trump, but I think we hopefully learn some lessons out of that that will help us cover whoever is next. So, thank you all. (audience clapping).

FREE Algorithm Course – The Impact of Automation & AI on Journalism

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on December 11th, 2020
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Hello, I’m Nicholas Diakopoulos. I’m a professor of communication studies at Northwestern University. I’ll be your teacher for this new MOOC on News Algorithms the impact of automation and AI on journalism Now whether to enhancescale efficiency breadth of coverage or to createentirely new likelihoods through optimization and personalization, There are exciting and approximately supernatural things that algorithms make possible. But algorithms and AI are not magic I’m not here to hype you on the technology in this course. The actuality is that news algorithms are about how to blend the best of automation and AI into the way reporters and editors wield. Now you may already be wondering what is he talking about when he says algorithms or AI? Algorithms are just a setseries of steps taken in order to achieve some aftermath. A cooking recipe is an algorithm . Though chiefly still to be undertaken by parties. In such courses, we’ll talk about algorithms that keep going computers to process info. Information recipes cooked by personal computers. Artificial intelligence orAIon the other hand is about algorithms that are able to perform tasks naturally asking human intelligence.These engineerings are now used throughout the news production pipeline from computational fib invention tools to automated content make and bots to story delivery algorithms likenews feeds and recommender plans. If you take such courses, you’ll get an overview of all these application neighborhoods. You’ll also come away with a sharper critical heart towards algorithms and how they impact the media system and society and you’ll gain knowledge that informs your own tactical inventive and responsible adoption of these technologies in practice. I hope you’ll meet me for four weeks starting February 11 th. It’s a free course open for everyone impelled possible by the Knight Center at UT Austin . You can cross-file now at< I hope to see you in the course ..

David Carr: Government Funding Of Journalism is Not the Answer

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on November 29th, 2020
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buster I do think you guys dismiss some of the very real track should not ignore but underestimate some of the very real traction of these lettuce shoots Texas Tribune which has a focus on transparency and commonwealth authority in Texas exactly busted through every fundraising goal they have they have a hybrid mannequin of journalism MinnPost gaining traction in minneapolis singer of San Diego starting to come on I do anticipate part of what’s going on is you can fix the contention and I judge honorably it’s not enough it’s a but that’s not how convert pass you don’t fling the switch on the future and walk into a light future there you you guys in your works say we can’t render a 10 or 20 time roars and accountability journalism well there is gonna be a sort of i think a period of time when when there’s going to be some frictional the modifications and parties like me believe me part of the future is so dead being ugly i was interviewing a guy today he runs a company announced necessitate media he facilitates run for your lives and what they do is research headlines that will work on the web and then they hang up that dead headline in a manipulate country like a virtual toil range and all of the reporters that Robert and John wrote about who are out of work then to write that story which has been created by some consumer algorithm and they end up going twenty dollars for a fib about how to go your kayak I I’m not really excited about living in that version of the future the problem is is information in pushing both double every single year in in a virtual style that that the forming high quality content does need a money a mile I don’t deem authority as either dependable as efficacious and is capable I entail even though they are you look at the public modelings of journalism that are out there of NPR and public television they’re being funded less than twenty percentage of their budget is coming from government beings have to index in and vote in favor of efficacious trusted information and to say over the long haul at a time when when we can’t fund class we can’t store the infrastructure that you were talking about where we’re closing crew Vincent’s Hospital where we’re working out of six year aged textbooks to say well we really need to line up and and store journalism moving forward you all read the storey today about ten years of deficits going forward the answer to everything is government money over and over again and at a certain point we as a culture are going to have to take a look at our priorities and look for both citizens the private sector in the altruistic area to come together with hybrid simulations that render a sustainable form of journalism going for it that doesn’t depend on Uncle Sam for handouts don’t you know what we’re in an age where government can pretty much merely shove whatever they want down your throat government is increasing control feeding you corporate ID through their corporate workers feeding you over and over what they want you to know and so the the idea that that immense guardian journalism is going to come from a governmentfunded media over the long term I think is frankly extravagant well then the question is how come

Students talk about the new journalism department at City University

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on November 23rd, 2020
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my call is Frederick Dawson and I’m a student in surmounts International Journalism okay and so the new district is really really nice like much bigger improvement over our previous equipment up in the other building however they weren’t prepared for her first part expression which provide a lot of problems and evenly like the international students rarely do anything now which is quite annoying we have computer grades but there any other computer labs that are in the aged part of building that don’t have the newest journalism software and most of them are still in labs with lots of cracked computers hinder computers asked why they’re like that no one’s actually being able to give us an answer i’m christopher anderson I’m be a journalism student I recollect the television studio which I haven’t ill-used yet but sorry an exciting and yeah I’m when I’m doing the pole graduate certificate in newspaper it in principle it seems a little nicer liver but yeah things think we should work and that’s still on and likewise vied others would rinse it out so there’s a couple of days a week we don’t happen merely having a central centre to work in means you insure everybody all the time and yeah I’m very much selling busy right now

Data Overload: Data, Journalism, & COVID-19

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on November 5th, 2020
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So again, welcometo the webinar. My name’s Todd Wallack. I’m expend the year asa Berkman Klein Nieman fellow at Harvard and I’ve beena data journalist at The Boston Globe for about sevenyears, as well as an investigativereporter acting both with the BostonGlobe’s Spotlight Team and the rest of the newsroom. Caroline Chen covershealth care for ProPublica, and she previously was areporter at Bloomberg News. Armand Emamdjomeh is agraphics assignment editor for The Washington Post, and he was previously a deputy director ofdata visualization at The Los Angeles Times. And I was provoked tohave this group of people talk about the issuesthat reporters face dealing withdata because we all have some different expertise. I’m sort of a generalistlooking at data trying to find, mine it for all sortsof types of storeys. Caroline is more of aspecialist in health care and will have more expertisein health care data. And Armand has lots ofexperience in visualizing data.And it seems like there’s beentons of interest and challenges in looking at COVID1 9 data. Parties have been trying totrack it by era and time to see trends and whether it’sgetting worse or better, as well as geographically. But there also have beena lot of challenges, such as handicaps tryingto obtain the data. So you’ve seen a lot ofheadlines about that, particularly at a locallevel, or getting more details on the data, suchas on race or senility or other detailsabout people affected.And questions about the accuracyand reliability of the data. ProPublica and The NewYork Times and others have written a lot ofstories raising questions about the accuracyand the challenges equating one country to anotherbecause of difficult deviations in who’s measured, howaccurate the tests are, how accurate fatality countsare, and other issues. So I’m going to start byasking a number of questions, and at about 12:35, will switchto questions from the gathering. So feel free to start tossingin questions as we speak. And about halfwaythrough, we’ll start going to audience questionsand finish at 1:00. OK. I want to startoff just by requesting Armand and Caroline, what data are you understand books most interested in? Could I hop-skip in now? I remember early on thequestions were just where is the disease spreading, right? So I thoughts certainly, especially in the US, as the virus firststarted to punched, everybody just wantedto know case tallies. And then I think thatstarted to soon overlay with a concern about deaths.And so I think that continuesto be of interest, cases and fatalities. And then I would say whereare the tests and testing abilities, testing capacities. And I remember now there’s anunderstanding that there are two types of tests. There’s the diagnostic tests. Those are the PCR, the swab tests. And now the newincoming antibody measures. And I belief the moresophisticated readers are starting to gain anunderstanding of what do the numbers symbolize aswe’re starting, just like right now, this week, starting to see studies comeout with some digits around these antibody studies.And there are alreadyfurious debates around those study resultsand whether or not those are meaningful. So I accompany those aslayering, right? We continue to want tocare about case weighs. And we continue to wantto care a lot about extinction and you know, segmentation of those. So demographics and raceand who are being affected. And these are layering as we go. And Armand, what have you seen? Yeah, I completelyagree, obviously along the same linesof that structure. It has been casecounts and where there were reported cases andreported outbreaks, you know, demises. And now, I conceive the one thingI can add to what Caroline said, is there’s been interest in thetrends that are being reported by states as well. So we’ve earn steps toshow what does this data look like over day, of coursenoting the caveats in the data and how it’s being reportedand recorded by the states. Oh, and I forgot tomention, of course, there’s the wholeconversation around supplyings, PPE, ventilators.It’s obviously been very hard. That’s always a movingtarget depending on whether you’re talking alocal level, national level. You can never place a nailon how much PPE there is at a rendered hospital, regime, but there is always interest in that question of renders. And I’m also inquisitive abouthow easy or difficult has it been to obtain allthe data for your stories and graphics? I can talk about that. I anticipate, you know, thedata at a national level is basically nonexistent. Most things are reportedat the territory stage, so that makesmeans know you have to either rely on an aggregatoror aggregate the data yourself, you are familiar with, going to all thesedifferent state sites, figuring out where they report it, howthey report it, in what format.Also noting that this data, what the states are reporting, likewise changes over timeand what programmes they’re using to report it. I is sending out a tweeta few days ago that was like, what if youwere reporting a live ballot, but you were building yourrig for reporting the research results as the election was happening? And what everywherewas reporting as the resultswas also changing, and they were changing howthey report it as well. So it has been extraordinarilydifficult in that sense, to build things thatdon’t constantly crack, and construct dataflows that are actually kind of stable, given the factthat what is being reported is moving under them as well. Yeah, I would say that thereare certain things that, only by the natureof the pandemic, are going to beconstantly changing.So for example, testing capacity. I’ve done a lot of reportingaround testing and testing capacity. And simply by the natureof what’s happening, that is changing perpetually. So whether that’s nationally, whether that’s locally, if you’re trying tosay what is the testing faculty of mystate, that count is going to beconstantly changing. And it should be, right? Because we have been constantlyramping up testing ability. So for any reporter totry to get a beat on that, on trying to informtheir regional books, they’d have toconstantly update that. Is it possible toactually get an accurate number at any point in time? I think that istechnically possible, but your number’s going to beoutdated like within an hour, even at a specific lab. So I have, atcertain points, been able to be like, Inailed the amount. It’s already old-fashioned. Is there any pointin even doing that? Yeah, I think there is.It’s a deserving exerciseto try to get a ballpark and to move vogues for readers. So there have beentimes where I’ve tried to do that forspecific legends, but it is afrustrating exercise, and I’ve reallyencouraged other reporters to truly try toexplain to readers where you got this number, whathas gone into this number, and how long of a shelf lifethe multitude will have, and truly try to show yourwork to your readers more than I ordinarily would. So I think some ofthat is inherent.There are other things, though, where you can only your report is only asgood as where you get it from. So for example, the WHO putsout daily situation reports. That is the onlyway you can really get a source for internationalcase countings, right? But the WHO’s information isonly as good as the countries from which it comes from.So I remain repeatedlyexplaining that is something that people, that the WHO has arecommended way for what they count as a positive occurrence. And they say thatit is if you research positive with a PCR located evaluation. For the longest time, Chinajust decided that they were only going to count as positivesomeone who had a positive PCR test and manifestations. They were not countingpeople who had a positive PCR case but no evidences. So they weren’t countingasymptomatic instances. There’s nothing theWHO can do about that. There’s nothing anybodycan do about that. And then after a while, trying to change that. So you needed to knowthat about China. And I convey, that’sdeeply frustrating. You can’t get everybodyto report the same way. And you need to have thosecaveats in your reporting. And this also percolates down tolike 50 territories, or 56 states and countries, all doingit in their same highway as well. Right. That’s got to draw comparisonsreally ticklish, when everyone has a different way of reportingthe data, tracking the data.There are differentrules on who gets researched and what gets counted. It sure does. And again, I thinkyou can only be clearly defined the caveatsof this is entirely dependent on what’sbeing reported and how it’s being reported. Yeah, I’ve been very, verycautious about comparings. Got it. And are there any other problemsyou’ve noted in the data that people should be aware of? I have been very careful or I’ve been encouragingreporters in my newsroom and trying toexplain to the public precisely are well aware of what thedefinitions are of numbers that do thrown around. So one thing, forexample, I’ve been trying to explain a lot tolay readers is what actually is the fatality rate, right? And there’s a big divergence, I suppose, between what the public wants to know, which is, you know, if I get infected will I die, and what is reported as thecase fatality rate, right? So the speciman fatalityrate is the number of reported demises divided bythe number of lab confirmed infections.So everybody knows in theUS, it had been really hard it continues to be reallyhard in numerous places to get tested inthe first place. And a lot of places arenot experimenting unless you’re really, really sick. So that denominator isgoing to be much smaller than the actualnumber of infections. So extremely early onin the United State, the lawsuit fatality ratewas something like 10%. Because we just weren’ttesting a lot of people. And “youre thinking about” itas an iceberg mannequin. Like, the deaths areusually the easiest to find and count, especiallyearly on in a pandemic. This always happensin a pandemic. And the people who areasymptomatically fouled are the hardest to findin the first place.But again, theaverage lay reader, they just want to know ifI get infected, will I die? And they’re lookingat that count that’s been reported in yourheadline, and they’re just looking at that and beinglike, if I get infected, that’s my luck of dying. And “were having” such a hugeresponsibility as reporters to explain that number andnot just throw things around in headlines. So I think there are alot of numbers like this. As a science andhealth reporter, I feel like we have alot of responsibility to explain to parties, so that are not and are. These are the rate ofinfection, the probability you have of infectingother parties, the average number ofpeople you’ll infect. It’s a process ofunderstanding, and this is what I’m trying toget across to my books. There is so much we are stilllearning that we don’t know yet, and we cannot presentthis as set in stone. And building on that, mentioning all cases being kind of a difficultfraction to divide against.Like, the deaths numberalso is slippery. We’ve seen tales highlightingthis in recent dates, and it’s beensomething we’ve been various kinds of saying for a while. It’s like not everydeath is being accurately categorized extremely. Recently New York Cityadded some what was it? Like 3,700? I forget the exact number ofdeaths that were classified as probably COVID1 9. And you are familiar with, if it’shappening in New York City, probably there issome fraction of cases that’s being categorizedthroughout or never even recorded. So that number isslippery as well. And I study when talking aboutfatality rates and that kind of thing, rather than justtalking about one big-hearted multitude, we’ve been trying to, whenwe have the data available, to at least break itdown a little bit better into segments of thepopulation or report the comorbidities thatstudies have been reporting. So it’s not like a flat 3.2% or whatever it would be.It depends on alot of factors that are related to the individual. It unquestionably soundschallenging when there are questionsabout and uncertainty about both the numeratorand the denominator when you’re tryingto calculate frequencies. My sense is thatthese are problems that data reporters, andjournalists in general, encounter whentrying to get data. It’s often hard toget one clean database at a national levelor global level, where often aggregating itfrom lots of different places.And each lieu mighthave different ways of counting the numbersand reporting the numbers. And the data can be messy. Is there anything differentthat you’re finding in dealing with COVID1 9 data? Or does it reflectchallenges you’ve faced doing other types of floors? This is more theoretical. But you know, thesenumbers are being reported by states and by countriesand everywhere very precisely, but in the specific nature, it’sa unusually imprecise weigh. So there is thisweird situation. You know, inaccuratebut precise is one type of data classification. And I think that’swhere we are now. It’s like you’re throwing you’re taking shotsat a dartboard, and they’re all disembark in avery precise, same same lieu, but you’re off somewhere. You’re not actuallyhitting the dartboard. It’s like somewhereoff of the wall because you’re propelling thedarts various kinds of blindfolded. But we have very precise tallies. Yeah. One thing I’ve seen, and I predict my I know this is areally hard thing to do, peculiarly if you havean editor that’s pushing you, is to resist the implore to write.Because what I do see isthat health agencies, as they liberate data, are refining as they become. And I think this is becausethey are also figuring out what they need to release. So for example, to givea very specific example, New York City startedout by render test they were onlyreporting by burrough. And then a lot ofpeople were like, well, that’s not enough information. And they were gettinga lot of criticism. And then theystarted releasing it wasn’t fairly by vicinity. It was by this very strangenot quite zip code , not quite vicinity. It was percentage ofpositive, but they didn’t have any fresh counts. There were no numerator, no denominator. It was percentage. And I was like, well, Ican’t is everything with that. Because if you say that inthis zone, it was 66% positive, that could mean that youonly did three tests there, and two people tested positive.That’s meaningless. But I did examine somenews organizations write a story on that. And I was like, that’sa bit perilous. And then, I thinklike within a week, they then rereleased crowds, who the hell is by zip code and had numeratorand denominator. They had acces more information. And then you could writea more meaningful story. And then New YorkCity has continued to update anditerate and make more and more granular information. So I do think that there isa benefit to kind of waiting. Because I’ve seen, more than I’ve ever seen before in any otheroutbreak I’ve flooded, sort of healthdepartments iterate as they entered into with the datathat they’re releasing. And I actually realise, because this is happening across the country, actually reporters, I recall, be able to push healthdepartments and be able to say, hey, you are familiar with, Ohioreleased this information.Florida, why aren’t youreleasing the information obtained? And be able to sort of pushdepartments off of each other. And I think in asimilar theme, I think it’s really sometimesdangerous to write a story off of a preprint. I do think it’s reallygreat that scientists are, investigates are moving quicklyand sharing information on MetaArchive andbioRxiv and not waiting to go throughthat whole process. But then it’s notpeer reviewed, right? So this positions you in areally dangerous position as a reporter to haveto write a story off of a nonpeer reviewed study.So I recall one of mygoals is to never cause a preprint walkalone, as in you don’t write a story on apreprint by itself. You try to let it go inconcert with other studies and look for a trend. Or at least let parcels andlots and a lot of people comment on it, and don’tjust write a story on this. So this is happening rightnow with all these antibody studies, right? Like, Stanford putout its preprint on its antibody serosurvey. And there were alot of storeys that got written really quickly.And then in the next day, therehas been the critique ripple of like, was it a good sketch? Was it biased? You know, all of that material. And I precisely wish thata lot of reporters might have waited a little bit. And now there is theLos Angeles serosurvey. And I think you could havemaybe waited and obtained a bunch of thesestudies and maybe done one careful story inone exit, or at least gotten a lot more outside voicesthan you usually would before writing that one story. Because they aren’tpeer reviewed.So you do have to treatpreprints differently. Right. And interestingly, ofcourse , none of our essays are peer reviewed. So I’m curious whatprocess you go through to make sure that your owninterpretations and analysis are sound before publishing. I merely move preprintsby space, route more people than I ordinarily would. If something’s alreadypublished in a journal, I know that it’s gone throughthat peer review process. If it hasn’t been, I will runit by a lot more outside experts than I commonly would andjust go that additional mile and certainly ask myself, doI have to write this now? Can I wait for it to go throughthat peer review process? And you can ask the author. Sometimes they’llsay, oh yeah, this has already been accepted byJAMA or The Lancet or whatever. And that gives me an extrameasure of confidence. If that’s the case, that’s helpful to know. And if not and it’s like, thisis such an important study that I need to writeabout it right now, then I get all thoseoutside voices.I try to get numerous independentoutside utters that are from a number ofdifferent institutions, get all their essays. And if everything of them arereally, truly negative, then again, I haveto ask, why am I writing about this studyin the first place? The rail just gets so muchhigher if it’s not in a journal and hasn’t gone throughthe peer review process. And I accept, Caroline, even when ProPublica or The Post or othersare doing their own analysis, we do the same thing. We go to outsideexperts and say, here are the numbersI’m forecast. Does my technique make sense? Is there a good explanationfor these conclusions? Instead than only postingsomething on Twitter or throwing it onour website, we first ordinarily talk to professionals first. Yeah, precisely. And you are familiar with, there’s a bitof self analysis in here too. Like looking at whatwe call data flavors. Does what’s in the dataquestion your basic assumptions? Does it evidence an opposite trendto what you’re expecting? Are there big gapsor negative prices where there shouldn’t be? It’s kind of like sanitychecking the data as well.And similarly, I knowthere are questions about different simulations thatorganizations are exercising. A heap of people are looking atthe University of Washington model. It has a website that’svery easy to use, predicting when crests are goingto be for hospitalizations and other issues. But there are lots ofother poses it seems, and there arequestions about what variables go into each model, how the numbers are calculated. And they can produceconflicting ensues. So that has to bechallenging to deal with. Yeah, so I did a entire columnon foreshadowing and predictions earlier on, which was partlyfor reporters and partly for the public.And I review, again, the question really is, who is your audience? And who are you writing for? And I try to keep thatat the back of my attention. Because I think there’sa difference now. If you are writing forreally a lie world, again, you have to remind them, is this an estimation? And I spoke to, forthat particular pillar, I was talking toan epidemiologist. And I said, you know, Iwas reading this sentence that somebody had writtenabout their particular example. And I said, it seemedawfully specific, where they said that thismeans that in New York this was back in early March that last week there were, it was something like 1,583 to 2,000, blah blah blah. It was like down to the digitnumber of people infected. And I was like, Iread that sentence and I feel like it givesa lay public this sense that you can be thatprecise and calculate down to a single digit howmany beings are polluted. And for me, as awriter, I would never hold that stage of precision.Because it signalssomething to a reader. I would round and usethe words around. And I said, what does this sayto you as an epidemiologist? And it was reallyinteresting because she said, I like seeing thatsort of precision. Because from oneepidemiologist to another, I can then go and redohis pose and made to ensure that our digits accord precisely. So it’s very useful fromone researcher to another. But I agree with you, fora prepare audience, that’s not the send we want to send. Because I said, what is the takeaway you would want fora lay audience? She said the takeaway I wouldwant a dispose audience to hear is it’s not 400 andit’s not a million. You’re in the low-grade thousands. So really, that’skind of the question that I always when I’mtalking to someone who’s doing pose, I say, what is the takeaway you would want for a sit audience? And certainly, shesaid with simulations, you need to be thinkingin orders of magnitude.And I are of the view that ourresponsibility as reporters is to then say, OK, so I’m goingto give an orders of importance type of number to my readers. Got it. And I’m also curious, are there any mistakes that you accompany a lot of peoplerepeatedly attaining that flaw you? One I visualize all the timeis people say, oh, there are still four millionpeople experimented, as if there’s been four million evaluations. But some of the testsrequire multiple samples. Beings could have beentested multiple times. So there are different lists. I likewise recognize “theyre saying”, oh, there are this many cases when it’s number of approved occurrences. And there are other studiesshowing there are probably many times more peoplewho’ve been infected but haven’t been tested.Yeah, the one that you justmentioned, Todd, I think is the one that I’veseen most often merely in talking with peopleand hearing that like, oh, this region had just been five suits. It’s like, well , no. I want, yes, but no. That is just beingwhat’s reported and what’s being imparted, being reported by the states. And again, that comes backto what Caroline was just saying about thisprecision, implying that we know there are 526 disputes in this county in Illinois or something. But maybe that’s on us too.I know the instinctis to try and report the data to the granularitywe have available. But maybe there arebetter ways in that we do report thedata that suggests more of this imprecisionabout the data. And that’s something I think wecan expect ourselves and address as we try to puttogether these pages that are tracking the spread ofthe disease or whatever. Another one is justpeople being exposed to types of scales andvisuals that they’re not used to seeing. So like, we’re interpret alot more logarithmic scales than we’re used to. And they don’t show things you know, rise doesn’t lookthe same way on a log scale than a linear scale. But if you’re looking at it andthink you’re on a linear scale, then you might think thingsare declining or dropping out when actually, that isvery much not the case. Yeah, I ponder, Todd, you pickedup on my biggest pet peeve, which is people not payingattention to sections, right? And I’ve kind of been this has been my soapboxrant for the longest time.It’s like please, try toget your contingents in beings. Because I consider, again, that iswhat readers be concerned about, right? They see a milliontests, and they think that that is a million people. When you say, we’re rollingout hundreds of thousands of experiments, they are able to automatically thinkthat is a million people who can get tested. And depending onthe type of testing, this is absolutely confusing. Like the CDC test, youhad to divide by two. The Abbott test, the rapidtest, it is one test per person.So depending on whichtest you are doing, it is a different equation. And it really is areporter’s responsibility to figure out what theheck is being said. And it is a way for, frankly, for officials to inflate lists. And it’s the onlyway to really get an apples to applescomparison, is if we get a testing capacity in people. And so I think that’s ajournalist’s responsibility, to always get theunits in people. That lane, we can compare stateby state, country by country. So I do think thatthat is a mistake well, a mistake, orI see a confusion that annoys me when I see that. And yeah, I thinkjust not explaining that everything should belike, this is a reported number of deaths orreported number of cases at this phase intime, as Armand said.I think those are really common. I contemplate too just this is more philosophical is just presumingwe know things. I predominantly see this franklyon Twitter and on Tv, but time this air ofwe know what to do. Like, if this statejust did this, then we would solve the crisis. No. Nobody knows what to do. We have only known this, like humanity has only known this virus since January. Well, I make, in China it wasa little bit earlier than that. But in the US, we haven’treally known it that long. And every time I diginto this, whether it is on genuinely understandinghow it is transmitted, or I recently was doing a lot ofreporting on doctors struggling to understand how bestto use ventilators, how to best treatcritically ill cases. Everybody is struggling todo their best by patients and to reallyunderstand what to do. And so I think there are noeasy rebuttals in this crisis. And I think you can give I think this is afailure of communication both by our officialsand too actually, by journalists, when wemake it sound like there is an self-evident or easyanswer, and failing to acknowledge that, to a certain degree, we are all still learning.And so that riles me, wheneverit comes across as like, well, obviously. That sounds good. Why don’t we go to questions from the audienceare starting to pile up. One that’s been upvoted themost is from a Berkman fellow, BaoBao Zhang, who wonderedhow you feel about nonexperts weighing in with their ownanalysis on Medium or Twitter or elsewhere andnonjournalists. And not all of those peopledo what journalists do, which is going to expertsfirst to vet their conclusions. I emphatically definitely sounds like, youknow, it’s a free civilization. And that’s what platformslike Medium exist for. So you’re specifically citingTomas Pueyo’s The Hammer and the Dance. I think it’s fine ifpeople want to publish, and I think that they definitelyfind their own audiences.I do think that thingslike that sometimes are I believed they attain theirown publics, basically. I had a lot of beings actuallysend me that specific post and be like, I cannotunderstand this. Can you write a version thathandholds a little bit more? Because I judge thepart where oftentimes, professionals who areexperts in their arena, whether they’redata scientists or I see this a lot, wherelike, a clinician or somebody will be writing. They tend to use a lot ofjargon and don’t break it down to the degree thatI tend to try to do. And some people do it. Some people are fantasticcommunicators naturally. But I think that’s a bia. I tend to see a lot of jargon. And so I think thereis a place for them, and then I thinksometimes, the drawback is that I think they’renot trained to be able to use the language thathelps them reach as many parties as they are unable to and to giveas much context as, I consider, a reporter wouldknow how to do. That’s my off the topof my manager answer.That’s good. There’s also aquestion about how do we deal with issues wherewe publish an article based on data, and thenthe data mutates, or the information mutates. This probably comesup all the time with health carestudies, Caroline, where a new study comes thatcontradicts a past study. Or a study’s been retracted. So how do we deal with this one? People are still passingaround the old-time essay or plot based on old-time, outdateddata and information. Yeah, oh. What a ordeal it is rightnow with developments in the situation. So one thing that I amdoing now, even more so than I ordinarily do, is I am aggressively dating my information.In my fibs, onmy sentence, I’ll say like, this happening, asof Wednesday afternoon, according to the Associationof Public Health Labs, the US had a testing capacity ofa million research as of Wednesday afternoon. Because literally byThursday morning, the digit is changing. So I try to tag as much ofmy information as possible. I’m associating a lot moreaggressively than I naturally do and likewise adding thedate and age impression. So whenever whoever comesalong to my sections sees that information, they will know as of when thatinformation was true.So regrettably, some people are not going to read that carefully. But at least the timestamp will be next to that. So I cannot go back andupdate my essays constantly. But at least the informationthat somebody speaks will have a timestamp next to that. So I think that’s probablythe best thing you can do. And then yes, update as “theres going”. And I make, again, this is where the language that you useat the time you write also helps you write. Because I too say uselanguage like, at this time, scientists understandthis to be x. So when I wasworking on a tower about asymptomatictransmission, there was a lot of languageI had in there which was like, asof now, scientists understand that whatever. So again, there’s a dateat the top of my article. I’m exercising a lot oflanguage that suggested I’m giving you the best ofunderstanding at this time.And then I’m alsolinking to studies and putting languagein that’s like, as of this interviewthat I did on this date, “its what” I was told. So I belief all of that incombination, hopefully, even if a readercomes along later, will know that thatwas information that was current at the timethat I wrote that essay in. And I think that’sthe best you can do. Yeah. And from a datastandpoint, we can either build our sheets and appsto plug into live data that updates, so that youare seeing updated data as of the times stamp at the top ofthe sheet or right on the chart or whatever. Again, we try to betransparent about when that data is updating. Or like Caroline says, wecan improve it statically, with like Illustrator, orjust save it as the static SVG and is therefore necessary to perform very clearthat this is data as of x.Otherwise, we’vebeen in situations when we’re tryingto publish a storey, and we just have to keepupdating the charts like five times because thedata hinders changing as we’re writing the fib. Yeah, and othermore subtle things. So ProPublica normallydoes certainly long, sort of deep diveinvestigations. And actually, oursocial kinfolks are used to really retweetingour storeys forever. Because we often are doingsuch long, retrospective investigations that youcould retweet our storeys like two years fromnow, and there’s no reason why somebodycouldn’t speak them again later. And we’ve completelyreconfigured that. So they no longerwill retweet a floor because they knowthe information could be totally old-fashioned. So even thinking about that, like your social approach. They will check in and be like, can I still tweet this history from our main account? Is that datum still brand-new? Like, thinking aboutthat kind of thing. And then apparently, if there’s some really major new information. Like for example, if Ihad written a whole column on asymptomatictransmission, and there’s some really major informationthat’s really relevant to know, I will introduce an update atthe top of that story.So being select. Both good points. Next question is fromEva Wolfangel, who’s a Knight Science Journalismfellow, who queries about the fact that researchers often tryto communicate uncertainty, and I suspect there are twochallenges journalists face. One is how to communicatethat same uncertainty. And then there’salso the question, do we weaken our own storiesand reporting and data when we communicate that indecision? Or are beings just going tosay, oh, it’s an estimate.It has such a wide range. It has a margin of fault. You can’t really rely on it. So how do you dealwith those challenges? I intend, I try to conveythat in describing the process of science, right? So really to give avery specific example, in the line I was working onon asymptomatic communication, there was a part where I talkedabout how new studies has been demonstrated that viralload is actually higher at the start of thedisease, course of disease for COVID1 9, which means thatyou could be more contagious even before manifestations started. But I went out of my behavior toexplain how this is unexpected because for COVID1 9′ sclose cousins, the coronaviruscousins SARS and MERS, you were most epidemic, you are the highest viral onu, in the middleof the course of disease, when your manifestations were highest. And I picture justexplaining that, which would be why yournatural presumption would be the original presumptionwas that COVID1 9 would behave the same way. It’s something that anyreader understand better, that naturally, you’dlook at historic frameworks, and you’d expect it tobehave the same way.And I anticipate trying to explainthe process of discipline cures, and I feel like Ijust over explain. And I belief showingthat skepticism, or even just sayingthings like I really was working on astory about ventilator abuse, and I had a cliniciangive me a number. And then he calledme back and was like, you know that number I “ve given you”? I know you detest this, journalists hate this, but it might modify. And I was like , no , no , no. That’s fine. That’s fine, and Iappreciate that you wanted to clarify that. So then I just supplemented aline, a very short line, saying he added thatit’s early days, and more informationwill be gathered. And I think that’s fine anda good indicator to readers that more studiesare going to happen. So I definitelyfeel like there was still highways for columnists to indicatethat for their books. And from a visualstandpoint, in terms of how to communicateuncertainty, look to the annual discussionevery hurricane season about how to plot thelikely path of a hurricane. It’s like visuals. You want to givesomebody something to look at that tries to conveythe data as best as possible.And I think in the case of thisoutbreak, the best we can do is work that into thechatter and the headline around the chart, the annotations. Say that it’s reportedcases or approved bags or reported deaths. Try and communicate theuncertainty in what’s around the chart, ratherthan the numbers, which are what’s actuallybeing reported and what we actuallyhave to chart.Got it. And I want to take on aquestion by Saul Tannenbaum, who queries about questions raised byCOVID skeptics, who will often point out when we report deaths, argue that they’re over counted or there are no COVIDdeaths, in extreme cases, and say, well, they’re reallydying from a heart attack. Or they’re reallydying from pneumonia. Or they’re dying fromsome other cause. And yes, they testedpositive for COVID, but that wasn’t necessarilywhat stimulated their fatality. How do you deal withthose types of questions? That’s interesting. I think that I don’t know that that’s auseful debate right now, right? I fantasize all you can dobecause I think you can have that debate at either intent. Because then you get intothe debates on the people who are dying at home. Did they die of COVID? Did they die of not COVID? How do you thencount the people who are the excess impactfrom COVID because they died at home because theydidn’t want to go in for help.You know, I think there areso many twirling questions around demises relatedto COVID that are going to be so hard to untangle. And I reckon as reporters, the only thing you can really do is just be really straightand truly flat and is just like, here are the numberof people who died with a positive COVID test. And just leave it at that. And then here are the numberof people who died at home, and here is how it comparesto the number of people who died at home lastyear at the same time. And show that gap ifyou are able to get that quantity from your country. I merely don’t knowthat those debates are really helpful orgetting into those weeds and trying toparse that is going to get anywhere at this object. Because you are eligible to have thatsame debate about the flu. Like, so and so hada positive flu assessment, but did they die of theirunderlying health? Their pneumoniacame from the influenza, but they also had diabetes.What does that necessitate? I simply don’t know whereyou’ll get with that. And it reminds me ofafter Hurricane Maria, when they started anddid studies of what did the excess mortalityrate look at in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria? I worked on the homicidereport at The LA Times for several years. And the LA county coroner, ifsomebody was shot and then died like, say, 10 several years later ofcomplications from that gunshot gale, like eventualhealth blows, it’s still ruled ahomicide because they died because of complicationsfrom that gunshot wound. So this is not justsolely restricted to a COVID 19 debate. It’s just mortalitystatistics in general. Right. Another questionthat came up is, what is the most reliablesource for COVID1 9 data? I think there are at leasta half a dozen sources of aggregated nationaldata and a couple roots with world data.Armand, is moving forward. Yeah, most reliable is the key. I make, Johns Hopkins hasreally been putting tons of work into aggregating asmuch data as possible. You can take a move throughtheir issues list on GitHub precisely to kind of get an ideaof the publication of petitions this has generated. Of course, the World HealthOrganization and then I believe a number ofmedia organizations, including us, are also tryingto aggregate at the US level, like country data and province data. I can’t tell you whichis the most accurate. I would say justfor US case tallies, we principally useJohns Hopkins data. We long ago gave up on theCDC, which is very unfortunate to have to say that. But they don’tupdate on weekends, and they are like 24 hoursbehind on their weekday revises. So we use Johns Hopkins forjust our daily case counts. In periods of testingcapacity, we chiefly point to The COVIDTracking Project.International, sometimes, depending on what it is, WHO or JHU. But again, it reallydepends on exactly what you’re trying to get at. Got it. And of course, sometimesfor terribly regional fibs, there may be onlyone possible beginning of data coming froma county or come a infirmary or somewhere. And actually, going to yourlocal health district instantly is probably goingto be the most up to date information, which willbe even faster and more up to date than going to asite like JHU, frankly. want to try to clarify. There Is too issues and questions from [? magna ?] Cheney, whose a Nieman affiliate, inviting aboutthe best practice for archiving tales. So Caroline, youmentioned having a date stamp can be one way.Yeah. The Guardian doesthis thing where they have a warning up reallyhigh, where “theyre saying” like, informing, this story islike more than a year old-time. Or they have some sortof very visible warning up high-pitched, which I alwaysappreciate whenever I see that. So that could beone way to do it. OK. Michelle O’Neillasks, what can we report that’s meaningfulwithout having the basic data that we want? And I guess that comes up withwhen we want to say, you are familiar with, what countries? Where are the hot spots? Or how is the US doingversus other countries when there are all thesequestions that we’ve brought up about how many beings areactually polluted given the differences in testing, and how many people have died given differences and weighing. And because of all theseuncertainties with multitudes, it must be really challengingto figure out what we can really say with confidence. Yeah, agreed. I think we need to attain basicassumptions or readjustments when we can, you know, fordenominators that don’t exist or for other things thatwe don’t consider reliable. Like on our sheets that register thedata that we know about cases and demises throughoutthe country, instead of normalizing, we’re looking at like known specimen perpopulation of the state, per person of the area.But again, we have to beclear that this is all precisely based on what’s being reported. OK. There was also aquestion with, what do you do when you don’thave data or intelligence, or you have conflictingdata, so you can’t be sure? Do you merely avoidwriting about it? Or do you write aboutit as best you can? It’s certainlydifficult to constitute graphs when you don’t have data. Well, I do thinkthat there is value to used to describe the lackof information, especially when you are interested in, say, yourlocal state bureau is keeping information thatshould be public, right? So I think thatthere was, early on, a lot of goodjournalism being done about the need fordemographic information, about who was beinginfected, right? And now we’re getting a lotmore of that info, which is pointing outbig problems in who is being infected. So I has not been able to dismissthat as a possible for where you startreporting on exactly the absence of good message, which can actually spur change and get you theinformation that you then want.Great. So I think we just havetime for one last-place question. Gina Pavone notes thatthere’s talk of using an app for contact marking. There’s a projectat MIT for that. And there’s also been storiesbased on cell phone data that’s been liberated. And Gina wondershow columnists deal with aspects ofprivacy or reporting on the challenges ofreleasing that data and using that typeof sensitive data and impelling the topicaccessible to a mass public? Yeah, I make, I thinkthis is a hot topic across a lot ofdifferent countries, a lot of different localities.And I conceive one, really understanding the nitty gritty of how it’sgoing to be used is important. I think there are a lot ofthink articles about these apps right now that I’mseeing, which ask a lot of philosophical andhypothetical questions. But I envision road fewerstories that really get into the innards of howthey’re going to be used, which would actually help answersome of these suppose segments. So I think that would beuseful journalism to be done. It’s much easier to be like, well, what about privacy? But then you don’t actuallyknow what’s going to happen. I consider the otherquestion though, which was raised with me, wassome public health professionals that asked, how is thisgoing to actually intersect with the existing publichealth infrastructure? Because if there are a bunchof people who have downloaded an app and it’s not talkingto public health officials and not helping themdo their actual employ, that’s also useless.So this needs to fit intothe existing public health ecosystem. So I think there’s alot of good reporting that can be done around that. And then again, this needsto fit into existing testing capacity. There’s no extent in havinga great contact tracing app if you then can’t testpeople and find out who is sick in the first place. So there’s a lotof questions about do we have a veryshiny glancing object that doesn’t mesh with theactual worlds of needs? And I think helping peopleunderstand, your readers, actually understandhow this app needs to fit into the actual workflowof continuing the virus.All of those things can behelpful to your books. And then eventually, also just like the mathematics of howmany beings would actually need to downloadthe app for this to be useful in achievingwhat it needs to do. Because there isa minimum number of people who need to havethe app for a contact discovering app to work. Got it. Thank you so much better. Thanks for the panelists. And for everyonewho tuned in, there will be a recording availablein a duet dates on the Berkman Klein Center event page.And there’s also goingto be a quick poll survey at the very end. So thanks again forArmand and Caroline, and thanks for everybodywho is watching ..

The Future of News, Journalism, and Journalists Lecture 1/5

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on October 30th, 2020
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difficulty with a good opening is your you’re doomed to at this station only peeked and it’s downhill from there what I’m going to do in the next 40 hours or so hopefully leaving at least that much time for discussion with you is provision a quick drawing of what’s going on in the world of journalism why it’s going on and what that connotes about what the journalism of the 21 st century needs to be or what the hell is as citizens expect of our next publication half fifty percent of all the classified advertising that existed in newspapers is now gone and the rest the other fifty percent is likely to be going the next five years a hundred percent classified advertising starting why because monster calm and and all these other coms which frankly the word industry could have developed and didn’t our access are provided a superior style to get that information and you had in immense craigslist which is a free mas mailing free classified lesbians person to person and that revenues disappeared that’s one part of the other part of it is that the interface that we have as consumers with word is very different online than it is in print or smart in photograph you open up the information remember you say okay I’m waitin until to be informed about what the Providence Journal is going to tell me today this on page one they settled that on sheet two oh look there’s a half sheet ad from sleepy-eyeds gee I wonder what behet dresses that got on sale and and what’s very clear from the research is that the advertising that beings see in a newspaper is another form of content and they like to interact with it they can choose to look at it or not and often as those of you who are where the newspaper didn’t know that push is very detailed it’s got a lot of information in it costs exactly how long that auctions going to see last how many of you know that Jo our computer 99 it’s got you know give you make 20 got everything online we all huntergatherers for bulletin and information and Google in what you’re looking for and you find you search through the links that look like that are going to get the closest to answering your question or when you eventually click on that one you really don’t want to talk about that to happen right at the moment you’re going to finally look at the narration that you should take up to 45 seconds to on down to instants to intention and you’ve finally got to the good stuff that’s the story you require yikes what’s that get that forward off my material delight so the boundary that we have with advertising is very different and what’s the claim this figure plunging so much well advertisements in newspapers toils immense when you’re in the one newspaper in municipality and you can charge a lot and that’s the only way to reach people but there’s no dearth of websites and so even if my websites got a lot of traffic there are a lot of other websites that cumulative so I can’t blame her in fact I can charge you less and less every day per clink per user for an online so what we need to understand is that the audience to the too many traditional story of institutions is actually originating the notion that the newspaper is a dying industry because no one wants to read it so that’s actually not the public to the brand-new york seasons today is the largest it’s ever been and it’s grown in ways that include 10 years ago or 15 years ago in newark epoches those 1.2 million emulates everything ok now there’s a thing announced pass along psyches and all the certain material figure out how many parties predict the brand-new york seasons in the course of a week there’s a lot of math you do but mostly come up with a number that maybe seven or eight million people different beings written your time is saying the price of a week or a month 15.6 million different beings use the new york epoches website every month so regardless you look at it they’ve probably redoubled the total universe of books predict the New York Times with their website that’s terrific privilege that’s back the near Times has got bigger reaching more ask what type of minutes that were then so what’s the problem the problem is they determine ninety percentage of their income from the book edition part of the shrinking they reach only ten percent of their income from the interview and they can’t figure out a acces to move that sighing it’s stopped from because of the situation is going on the only place were the internet where internet advertising is really flourishing and is really successfully this is in search advertising why because before you get to the content you’re looking for the content you’re looking for goods and services you’re looking to be answered or something and the search ads pop up and they’re like another form of content or like other they’re just like the links are looking but that’s happening at the different levels of research that’s happening at the regional teenager or young and by the way to shape that work you have to have a huge amount of market share because those exploration ads are animals pinless pennies that’s why Google is very successful because it has two thirds sixtysix percentage of all the search the United Government goes to move that’s why they make money Yahoo which restricts twenty percentage of rummage in the United District is a company in tribulation because that amount of market share is not enough given the price of search engines search advertising the ga the companies flourish yahoo is a corporation in hurt that beings to be bought or incorporate or something so the prospects now for the story business to survive are frankly that it needs to invent a new revenue machine for the 21 st century that is not advertising if journalism is going to survive in many ways it was a happy accident that in the 20 th century a commercial-grade undertaking announce subsidized a civic good journalism it was not really true in the 19 th century that’s on her journalism mismanagement journalism for the most part was a partisan activity and the website and when the newspapers were controlled for most of that century and most of American history until the mid 19 th century as as loss leaders for parties we began to see a period of time in a little flatter permanent institution when newspapers could start some fund really from circulation it was really in the very end of the 19 th century and then business advertising became the source that finance journals and what’s happening now is that is disintegrating that is going away and it’s increasingly clear I things clearer today that was a year ago certainly much clearer that was three years ago that advertise online is never at least in the forms that we think of it as never going to be enough to subsidize journals

How Journalism Education Applies to Food Writing – Sarah Simmons

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on October 12th, 2020
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what parallels in journalism and cooking do you find more interesting and how your career is developing you know you learn in journalism it’s writing to your audience and whether you’re writing you know you’re straightup journalism in writing you know a factbased article or you’re you know putting an editorial spin on it and writing creatively you know both of those i’m exercising i’ve been writing articles for bone appetit and you know working on my personal blog you know it’s even up you know it’s even applicable for me when I’m writing a recipe because you’re thinking about it in areas of what ordering should things come in you have to write a leadin to the recipe that draws someone care about what you know and you’ve need to show a reasonably draw it’s about build a container and so you know initially when I are of the view that I was going to pursue newspapers I you know I learned those skills and so now I simply draw on those skills when i’m approaching something whether it’s an section or just simply writing a recipe you

Arts Journalism | Short Course

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on October 6th, 2020
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My call is Helen Nugent, I’m a journalist, I’ve been a journalist for 20 years. I currently teach musicjournalism at Salford University. My career has been jolly varied, I workedat the times in London for 10 times, across a number of capacities including lorrycorrespondent, news editor and reporter, and I’ve worked pretty much for all thenational newspapers and a lot of trademags. This is arts journalism, thiswill be taught over the course of one day and will be useful to pretty muchanybody. You don’t have to have a background knowledge, but undoubtedly astrong interest in the arts would definitely be an advantage. So on thiscourse we’ll be looking at the different kinds of artworks journalism, so musicheritage, skill itself, theatre, literature. There will be practical aspects, including writing some reviews and looking at feature opinions, and too someadvice on how to slope to editors and most importantly how to forge relationshipswith pr’s in service industries.

Meet Civil — The Startup That Wants to Put Journalism on the Blockchain | Freethink

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on September 30th, 2020
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