News Fluency

Working journalists and academics alike have been spending a lot of time thinking about ways to restore trust in their work, and to help citizens discern reliable solid reporting from the masses of flimsy and utterly false information that bombards us.  This article published by Tom Rosenstiel and Jane Elizabeth proposes a series of questions that journalists, and their followers, should pose. It also recommends that journalists, when appropriate, answer them explicitly at the top of a story. They use the analogy of food labelling – what went into making this product?  In other words, what do you know, how do you know it, and what is still uncertain? Imagine a preamble to a story that addressed those questions. Not only would it build trust, it would build, in the words of the authors – news fluency – the ability to judge the value and trustworthiness of the journalism. The authors title their piece Journalists can change the way they build stories to create organic news fluency.”

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