Journalism

Fake news: How it happened

Fake news: How it happened

When politicians condemn fake or phony news, it may be of their own making. A favorite topic of President Donald J. Trump is "fake news." In this passage by Jonathan Karl, who is ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, a Trump administration official briefed reporters on background, meaning the information may be used, but the official may not be named. A newspaper then reported what the official said, respecting the rules by not naming the source. Then, President Trump criticized the newspaper for using phony sources. Here's how it happened, as described by Karl: The next day, May 25, the…
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Fake news, meet fake research

Fake news, meet fake research

Do you think we have a problem with fake news? Let me introduce you to fake research. Think of the term "peer-reviewed research." What comes to my mind is the academic or scientific researcher, wearing a white lab coat, dispassionately and impartially following the data and experiments down whatever path they lead. But it isn't always that way. Retraction Watch tracks research papers that have been retracted. There are a variety of reasons for retractions. Honest mistakes are made, yes. But striking is how much outright and blatant fraud exists in the academic publishing world. Here is a sampling of…
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In Wichita: ‘The Future of News in Our Digital Age’

In Wichita: ‘The Future of News in Our Digital Age’

Soon in Wichita: A panel discussion with audience interaction on the topic "The Future of News in Our Digital Age." New Symposium is a group of Wichitans who hold regular meetings of public interest. New Symposium describes its goal is to "engage in the kind of thoughtful and respectful dialogue that is so seldom experienced in our modern world of political propaganda and social media sound-bites ... but which still characterizes men and women of good will when they take the time to step back and logically think things through together." It also uses the motto "New Symposium: Rescuing Discourse…
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Topeka Capital-Journal falls for a story

Topeka Capital-Journal falls for a story

The editorial boards of two large Kansas newspapers have shown how little effort goes into forming the opinions they foist upon our state. Here's a quote from a recent opinion piece in the Topeka Capital-Journal, the second-largest newspaper in Kansas: "If the past year is any indication, Totten is right about the harmful effects of KDOT sweeps on the construction industry in our state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between July 2015 and July 2016, Kansas lost 4,400 construction jobs -- a 7.3 percent decline. This means Kansas ranked 49th in the country for construction job growth." [1.…
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Wichita Eagle fails readers, again

Wichita Eagle fails readers, again

In its coverage of the 2015 election, the Wichita Eagle prints several stories that ought to cause readers to question the reliability of its newsroom. Readers of the Wichita Eagle must be wondering if the newspaper trusts its own reporting. In a fact check article regarding the Wichita mayoral general election printed on March 27, the newspaper looked at claims made by campaign ads. The story examined this claim from an advertisement by Sam Williams, referring to opponent Jeff Longwell: "Supported government handouts for low-paying jobs and then chastised voters when they rejected his plan.” The article's verdict on this…
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