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JakeontappHave you ever had a conversation with a friend or colleague about how personal finance should be a required course in high school or earlier? It’s a useful and practically invaluable skillset. Another subject young and seasoned adults would benefit from is media analysis. Or, how to spot fake news, a term now synonymous with misinformation, propaganda and reporting without context, or with bad sourcing. Then there’s the amplification of false claims that create an added twist, claims that could cause a person to make different decisions about shopping, voting, or their health.

It’s why we’re highlighting a particular Mover & Shakers member this week: Buzzfeed Media Editor Craig Silverman, who’s heading to ProPublica to cover voting, platforms, disinformation and online manipulation. His brand of filtering could have been useful for anyone wondering about President Joe Biden’s plans to drop in on your bbq, or about Vice President Kamala Harris’ book sales – the reporter that wrote that false story resigned. Fact-checkers like CNN’s Daniel Dale came to prominence over the past four years, and he of course is still on the job:

The mea culpa came three days later but as we know in today’s media stage, that doesn’t stop the spread. Regarding the 2020 presidential election, Newsmax issued a retraction and apology just before 6 p.m. on Friday to Dominion Voting Systems and one if its employees (who has been in hiding after receiving death threats) for falsely claiming election manipulation.

Silverman is all too familiar. He has been working on fact-checking since the mid-aughts. He’s written a book on the subject, taught about journalistic transparency and accuracy at The Poynter Institute, and published a free-to-read research paper (‘Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content’) in 2015 for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. With more people gaining access to different stream of information all over the world, the role of fact-checker will continue to gain steam. Honorable mention goes to another member of this round’s select Movers & Shakers out of 100+ moves:

  • Daniel Funke left PolitiFact for the news desk at USA Today, where he will report on misinformation. USA Today also added Luciana Lopez as a Politics NOW editor.
  • Vanessa K. De Luca started as editor-in-chief at The Root after leading ZORA magazine.
  • Jim Puzzanghera handed off the Washington bureau chief role at the Boston Globe to Liz Goodwin.
  • Joel Siegel is now managing editor in the Washington bureau of Spectrum Networks.
  • The Appeal’s SCOTUS expert Chris Geidner added MSNBC columnist to his résumé.
  • Faith Smith is reviving events at The 19th.
  • Former Mother Jones Reporter Rebecca Leber joins Vox as senior climate change reporter.
  • Natalie Jennings became deputy Washington editor at The Washington Post, which is also bringing in Perry Bacon Jr. as a columnist.
  • McClatchy Congressional Reporter Katherine Irby joined Politico as a deputy editor.
  • Defense One hired Jennifer Hlad as a news editor, and Jacqueline Feldscher as senior national security correspondent.
  • CNN recruits Natasha Bertrand as a White House reporter.
  • The New York Times promoted Eileen Sullivan to Department of Homeland Security correspondent.
  • Hearst Media Group made John Moritz a local government and politics reporter in Connecticut.
  • In May, Lissandra Villa will rejoin Buzzfeed as as national political reporter.

Capping this briefing, take your pick from our hotlinks on News of Note:

  • Our own Megan Kashtan is Tracking Proposed Social Media Legislation in America.
  • The Real Vaccine Crisis Isn’t About J&J or AstraZeneca
  • ICYMI: The COVID Tracking Project wrapped up operations. Here’s how they gathered the data so many organizations came to rely on.
  • Data Journalism: To identify the 1,000 most influential climate scientists, Reuters created the Hot List, which is a combination of three rankings.
  • Trump administration book deals are under a microscope.
  • President Biden touts police reform bill in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the murder of George Floyd.
  • The Washington Post Magazine is looking for journalists to contribute to a special issue about the diminished state of local and community news in the U.S.
  • Axios scoop: The AP is doubling down on its local news experiment called StoryShare, which helped newsrooms quickly share information around COVID-19.
  • How local TV stations plan to remain relevant as viewers shift to streaming.
  • Media consolidation affects local and national news coverage. Current deals:
    • Tribune Publishing may have finalized deal soon as time runs out for Stewart Bainum Jr.
    • Verizon looks at selling parts of Yahoo! and AOL. Apollo Global may be haggling.
    • While Australia has been making moves to help local journalism, News Corp. Australia merged more than 20 regional newspapers with capital city mastheads.
    • Forbes reportedly pursues SPAC talks amid new takeover interest.
  • Nielsen data shows an estimated 26.9 million people tuned in to watch Biden’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress.

Biden’s speech was fact-checked. On the lighter side of sports, CNN’s Jake Tapper had to check himself after a Twitter algorithm fumble.

Baz Hiralal

Managing Editor, Thought Leadership