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In Case You Missed It

Paul Farhi and Manuel Roig-Franzia The Washington Post

How will Breitbart fit into the Trump White House?

"Bannon’s new White House prominence, including his recent appointment to the National Security Council’s principals committee, makes him one of the country’s most powerful men. But it also uniquely positions his former website as a potential force in the Trump era, a media juggernaut emphatically stamped with Bannon’s imprimatur."

Axios Sara Fischer

The death of the click

"...According to industry experts, the click referral is becoming an idea of the past, soon to be replaced by content exposure."

Vanity Fair Graydon Carter

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on the Trump administration

"In our leader we have an ignorant strongman about to light a $20 cigar with a match."

The Washington Post Amanda Erickson

A brief history of things called "enemy of the people"

"In its original incarnation, enemy of the people wasn't code for 'enemy of my regime.'"

Techdirt Mike Masnick

Techdirt launches legal defense fund

"As we mentioned last month, we are currently being sued for $15 million by Shiva Ayyadurai, represented by Charles Harder, the lawyer who helped bring down Gawker."

The New York Times MARC SANTORA

A profile of a 19-year-old White House reporter

"UNF News is not a television network or a radio network, for that matter. UNF, or Universal News Forever, is the baby, identity, passion and obsession of Kyle Mazza, 19, who posed the question about Mrs. Trump."

Mediaite Josh Feldman

Defense Secretary James Mattis: ‘I don’t have any issues with the press’

"I’ve had some rather contentious times with the press, but no, the press, as far as I’m concerned, are a constituency that we deal with, and I don’t have any issues with the press myself."

CNN Julia Horowitz

Carl Bernstein: Trump's attacks on the press 'more treacherous' than Nixon's

"President Donald Trump's attacks on the press have spurred comparisons to former President Nixon, infamous for his deep disdain of reporters and leaks."

BuzzMachine Jeff Jarvis

Trump and the press: A murder-suicide pact

"The press will destroy Trump and Trump will destroy the press."

The Atlantic DAVID A. GRAHAM

The anatomy of a news cycle in the Trump era

"Tweet, report, outrage, denial, confirmation, qualification. What to make of the bewildering reports from the early days of the Trump administration."

The Washington Post Margaret Sullivan

Could reporters be hunted down if Trump goes after leakers?

"Will the Trump administration’s crackdown on leaks include journalists as well as their sources?"

The New York Times Jim Rutenberg

A profile of Infowars as its profile rises in the White House

The White House said it had yet to receive a proper application from Infowars and therefore could not comment on whether it would get one. Mr. Jones said the delay might be related to a bureaucratic snag. 'They say it’s going to get rectified,' he said."

Digiday LUCIA MOSES

How BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman debunks fake news

"While he’s glad to see so much more interest in the subject, he worries that the term 'fake news' has lost its bite."

Digiday MAX WILLENS

Fusion is getting into podcasting

"The Univision-owned, millennial-targeted endeavor is making a move into podcasting with a mix of the conversational shows that have been embraced recently by publishers, and higher-end, more elaborately produced fare."

The New York Times WINNIE HU

Polk Awards honor articles from Trump’s presidential run

"A Washington Post reporter who brought to light a video of Donald J. Trump making lewd comments about women and a ProPublica reporter who covered the Trump campaign’s growing traction with voters in a tumultuous election year were among the winners of the George Polk Awards in Journalism for 2016, announced on Sunday."

In case you missed it

Paul Farhi and Manuel Roig-Franzia The Washington Post

How will Breitbart fit into the Trump White House?

"Bannon’s new White House prominence, including his recent appointment to the National Security Council’s principals committee, makes him one of the country’s most powerful men. But it also uniquely positions his former website as a potential force in the Trump era, a media juggernaut emphatically stamped with Bannon’s imprimatur."

Axios Sara Fischer

The death of the click

"...According to industry experts, the click referral is becoming an idea of the past, soon to be replaced by content exposure."

Vanity Fair Graydon Carter

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on the Trump administration

"In our leader we have an ignorant strongman about to light a $20 cigar with a match."

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4 factors that influence people’s attitudes toward facts

The simple but frustrating truth is that facts alone are not enough to provide context and clarity for your audience. Even the most thorough, accurate piece of reporting might still be trumped by a poorly reasoned and false counterargument.

Decades of research into the way humans process information and deal with misinformation and propaganda show that people are more inclined to believe things that are in line with their existing views — even if proven truth contradicts their beliefs.

Here are some factors that make it difficult to convince people of facts.

Selective Exposure: We tend to gravitate toward  — and even seek out — sources and information that fit with our existing views. Even with a multitude of sources available online, people do not actively seek out information that contradicts what they believe.

The Backfire Effect: People do not view contrary evidence with a sense of detachment. When we become invested in a point of view or a set of facts about the world or ourselves, contrary evidence causes us to double down on our beliefs. When challenged, we react. We don’t reason. This means that it matters how journalists present contradictory evidence. (For additional background, see The Backfire Effect, a column from the Columbia Journalism Review by Craig Silverman.)

Motivated Reasoning: We think we're being rational about what we read, but we are ruled by emotion on things we care about. We tend to cherry-pick experts' opinions and select statistics that back up our beliefs. This may seem like a totally conscious act, and it can be. But it can also occur on a subconscious level. We often don't realize that we are naturally gravitating toward "facts" and other material that fits with what we already believe — practicing selective exposure.

Illusion of Truth: Familiar claims start to seem true over time. This explains why message saturation (or propaganda) can have such a powerful effect on people and why even seemingly ineffective ads or ridiculous claims can be potent. Recognizing this phenomenon means that, as journalists, we need to be cautious about how we choose to express false claims when attempting to debunk them.

Taken from Getting It Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age, a self-directed course by Craig Silverman at Poynter NewsU. You can also join our Poynter NewsU webinar with Silverman, Investigating the Internet: How to Sniff Out Scams.

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