Politics Broadcasters combat misinformation with a focus on the facts
Gordon Brown Fast Facts
View CNN's Fast Facts on Gordon Brown and learn more about the life of the former British prime minister.Here's a look at the life of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."
This quotation - often misattributed to Mark Twain, ironically - about the never-ending struggle to distinguish between fact and fiction is perhaps more relevant today than at any other time in human history.
In today's world, we are blessed with more sources of news and information than ever before - all at the touch of our fingers. Yet, this same blessing allows a lie to travel around the world in the blink of an eye, even as the truth is unfolding, with the potential for wide-ranging consequences. A single lie can shape elections and governments or influence financial markets and spark social movements.
Syria Fast Facts
View Syria Fast Facts at CNN to learn about the Middle Eastern country sharing a border with Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. © JOSEPH EID/AFP/AFP/Getty Images The ancient oasis city of Palmyra, Syria, in March 2014. About Syria(from the CIA World Factbook) Area: 187,437 sq km Population: 20,384,316 (July 2021 est.)Median age: 23.
This week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is continuing its series of hearings on how misinformation and disinformation - the lies of the 21st century - have impacted recent events in our nation. As lawmakers explore this issue, they should be mindful of the vital role radio and television broadcasters play in our communities by exposing lies, uncovering the truth and reporting the facts.
As Americans' most-trusted source for news, local radio and television stations and broadcast networks understand their responsibility to deliver reliable, fact-based journalism and have invested in their news operations to better serve their audiences' changing needs. In recent years, to combat misinformation online, broadcasters such ashave offered training for journalists to help them identify false information on social networks, while others such as and have created specialized news teams that focus on exposing fake stories.
Prince Philip Fast Facts
View CNN's Fast Fact on Great Britain's Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh), husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the great-great grandchild of Queen Victoria.Here's a look at the life of Great Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
Broadcasters have also bolstered their fact-checking operations or partnered with other news organizations to verify political claims made by candidates, campaigns and outside groups seeking to boost their preferred electoral choices. Examples of broadcasters' expanded fact-checking enterprises include:
- , a standalone vertical offering expertise from the company's 49 newsrooms across the country;
- , allowing the broadcaster to feature fact-checking stories on 34 television stations and two radio stations;
- a series produced through a partnership with ProPublica to investigate issues related to election security and voting concerns; and
- , which provides fact-checking stories translated into Spanish for the broadcasters' audiences.
Broadcasters' work over the past 12 months has also, time and again, highlighted their invaluable role in providing a trustworthy accounting of history.
The Technology 202: Facebook's ban on Australian news triggers greater scrutiny of its vast power
Rep. David Cicilline, who led a 16-month investigation into competition in the tech industry, called the moves 'the ultimate admission of monopoly power.' Facebook’s decision to block the posting and sharing of Australian news highlights the platform's vast influence over the media industry, raising the stakes in global regulators’ efforts to address its power.
Last summer, as demonstrations for racial justice and equity broke out across the country, broadcasters were there to bear witness, even at the risk of their own safety. Broadcast journalists interviewed protestors so they could voice their grievances and demands. They documented wrongdoing by law enforcement officials and demonstrators alike to provide accountabilityabout racial issues facing our communities and the nation. Millions of Americans turned to their local broadcasters to watch the demonstrations and receive greater context about what was happening.
Local TV and radio stations and broadcast networks also providedon the U.S. Capitol Building, painting a vivid picture of the assault on our democracy. Journalists inside and outside the Capitol detailed the violence, despite facing harassment, bullying and threats to their safety. Broadcasters while they took cover during the siege, allowing them to provide eyewitness testimony of the events as they unfolded.
Detained Americans Fast Facts
Read CNN's Fast Facts about recent cases of foreign governments detaining US citizens. For information about missing Americans, see Robert Levinson Fast Facts or POW/MIA in Iraq and Afghanistan Fast Facts. © CNN Kenneth Bae spoke to CNN's Will Ripley on September 1, 2014. Currently Detained AmericansChina Kai Li September 2016 - Kai Li, a naturalised US citizen born in China, is detained while visiting relatives in Shanghai.July 2018 - He is sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage following a secret trial held in August 2017.
Broadcasters across the country have also doneto keep Americans informed, healthy and safe. , radio and television stations held virtual town halls, interviewed experts and broadcast special reports to explain the deadly impact of coronavirus. They provided airtime for educators and created special programming for students at home. Broadcast journalists have risked their own health to go inside hospitals to show the devastating impact of the virus and investigated health care issues affecting local communities' response to the pandemic. Now, as vaccines are being deployed, , educating the public about its benefits and publicizing mass vaccination events.
Broadcasters believe that combating misinformation and disinformation, which can erode trust in our institutions and cause real-world harms, is a necessary and noble pursuit. As lawmakers explore ensuring Americans have access to accurate information, they would be well-served to remember that reliability, trustworthiness and an adherence to the truth have been the calling cards of our industry.
Gordon Smith has been president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters since 2009. He is a former two-term Republican U.S. senator from Oregon.
Vaccine Hesitancy Isn’t Just One Thing .
We’re going to need a portfolio of strategies to solve it. Kolina Koltai has been studying online disinformation since 2015, with a special focus on anti-vaccine groups on Facebook. “People come into the space for a variety of reasons,” she said. “At first, it was mostly parents, more women than men, and overwhelmingly white, ranging from stay-at-home moms to people with high levels of education who wanted a naturalistic upbringing for their child.” The group didn’t initially have a political lean.