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Verification of Digital Sources in Swedish Newsrooms — A Technical Issue or a Question of Newsroom Culture?
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3017-3813
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1993-5696
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
2023 (English)In: Journalism Practice, ISSN 1751-2786, E-ISSN 1751-2794, Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1678-1695Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses and discusses attitudes and practices concerning verification among Swedish journalists. The research results are based on a survey of more than 800 Swedish journalists about their attitudes towards verification (Journalist 2018) and a design project where a prototype for verification in newsrooms – the Fact Check Assistant (FCA) – was developed and evaluated. The results of the survey show a lack of routines when it comes to verifying content from social media and blogs and considerable uncertainty among journalists about whether this kind of verification is possible.

The development of the prototype initially created reactions of interest and curiosity from the newsroom staff. Gradually, however, the degree of scepticism about its usability increased. A lack of time and a lack of knowledge were two of the obstacles to introducing new verification routines. It is not enough to introduce new digital tools, according to the journalists. Management must also allocate time for training. The paper’s ultimate conclusion is that changing journalists’ and editors’ attitudes towards verification in this digital age appears to be guided by newsroom culture rather than technical solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxfordshire, England, UK: Taylor & Francis, 2023. Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1678-1695
Keywords [en]
Fact-checking, digital sources, goal-directed design, newsroom culture, values-based journalism, verification, disinformation, fake news
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Other research area
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46772DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2021.2004200ISI: 000721201700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85119660068OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-46772DiVA, id: diva2:1613499
Available from: 2021-11-22 Created: 2021-11-22 Last updated: 2023-11-24Bibliographically approved

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Picha Edwardsson, MalinAl-Saqaf, WalidNygren, Gunnar

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