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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Journalists need to step up verification in hoax-filled cyber world

A leading expert in verifying stories and photos shared on social media believes most people have some basic motivations for sharing fake images.

He also believes it’s possible for journalists to discover newsworthy eyewitness images and steer clear of hoaxes and old pictures from unrelated events.

Often people pass along jaw-dropping photos because they get caught up in the moment. Some of them don’t know how to tell what’s real and what’s not on social media. Sometimes people are joking, but the photos are shared with people who aren’t in on the joke.

Job # 160172 Kiplinger Program Steve Myers APR-8-2016 The Ohio State University Photograph by Kevin Fitzsimons

Steve Myers talking at Ohio State University Photograph by Kevin Fitzsimons

And then there are people who use images as a form of rhetoric, sharing ones that validate their beliefs, said Steve Myers, a former Poynter Online editor who just completed a stint as professional-in-residence in Texas Christian University’s journalism department.

Myers routinely shares his work during Kiplinger Fellowship Week at Ohio State University.

“People see something that is too good to ignore and without spending the time to verify it, they do the natural thing, which is to comment and pass it along,” Myers told Kiplinger Fellows at a recent presentation. “Other times, even when the message or image seems out of place, it validates what they believe about a topic, so it seems perfectly fine to share.”

Myers showed an image of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that was alleged to have been vandalized during riots in Baltimore. Some people posted the photo with racial slurs aimed at the looters. The image actually was from a looted restaurant in Karachi, Pakistan. Continue reading

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Kiplinger Program director will lead Investigative Reporters and Editors


Kiplinger Program director Doug Haddix has been named executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Haddix, who has led the Kiplinger Program for five years, will leave his position Oct. 21 and take the helm at IRE on Oct. 24.

“I’m proud of our Kiplinger team and how we dramatically expanded the reach of our training,” Haddix said. In recent years, Kiplinger Program digital training has helped 1,800 journalists, students and professors annually at national journalism conferences, regional workshops, its flagship fellowship program and other events.

“I’m thrilled and honored to lead IRE during such a pivotal time in our news industry and society as a whole,” Haddix said. “The need for high-impact watchdog reporting has never been greater. IRE is positioned well to strengthen its global role in training and equipping journalists with the knowledge, strategy and tools to hold those in power accountable for their actions.”

IRE, based at the University of Missouri, represents more than 5,500 journalists across the United States and around the world. The nonprofit membership organization was formed in 1975 to improve the quality of investigative journalism.

“The entire IRE Board of Directors is excited to name Doug Haddix as executive director,” board president Matt Goldberg said. “His management skills and extensive experience in journalism, training, education and fundraising are the perfect fit to lead IRE into the future.”

Before joining the Kiplinger Program, Haddix worked for three years as an IRE national training director. Previously, he worked for 10 years as projects editor at The Columbus Dispatch and as city editor of The Scranton Times in Pennsylvania and The Commercial-News in Danville, Illinois. As a reporter, he worked for United Press International in Indianapolis and for the Springfield News-Sun in Ohio.

Haddix earned a master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism and political science from Miami University (Ohio).


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