Disinformation and verification in a digital society: an analysis of strategies and policies applied in the European regional TV broadcasters of the CIRCOM network
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/4759
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/13/4/81
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
The recent COVID-19 health crisis has shone a spotlight on disinformation as the circulation of false information became more and more prominent. What the World Health Organization (WHO) has defined as an ‘infodemic’ poses a great risk for democracies and for society in general. In this context, public television channels, with their regional scope, actively participate in the fight against misinformation. This research aims to identify and classify the different verification initiatives and technological tools, as well as the different strategies and codes used in fact-checking tasks by European broadcasters belonging to the CIRCOM network. The methodology undertakes an exploratory approach and employs a questionnaire that is applied to a sample of the members of the network. Managers and professionals with executive profiles were asked about the management, operation and strategies used in the verification process. In light of the results obtained, it can be concluded that the current verification processes are based on human efforts, rather than technological tools, amounting to a total dependence on content curation by the writing teams in the newsroom. Thus, it is evidenced that in most cases, there is neither a specific department for verification, nor sufficient resources, despite the fact that all those surveyed regard disinformation as a priority issue, a threat to democratic integrity and a responsibility of public service media.
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