From journalistic ethics to fact-checking practices: Defining the standards of content governance in the fight against disinformation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article claims that the practices undertaken by digital platforms to counter disinformation, under the EU Action Plan against Disinformation and the Code of Practice, mark a shift in the governance of news media content. While professional journalism standards have been used for long, both within and outside the industry, to assess the accuracy of news content and adjudicate on media conduct, the platforms are now resolving to different fact-checking routines to moderate and curate their content. The article will demonstrate how fact-checking organisations have different working methods than news operators and ultimately understand and assess ‘accuracy’ in different ways. As a result, this new and enhanced role for platforms and fact-checkers as curators of content impacts on how content is distributed to the audience and, thus, on media freedom. Depending on how the fact-checking standards and working routines will consolidate in the near future, however, this trend offers an actual opportunity to improve the quality of news and the right to receive information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-165
JournalJournal of Media Law
Volume12
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • disinformation
  • media freedom
  • journalistic ethics
  • platform responsibility
  • fact-checking

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