Disinformation and Local Media in the Iberian Context: How to Protect News Credibility

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Abstract

#localmedia #fakenews #factchecking

Regional and local media outlets have much more credibility than news organizations placed at a national level, according to polls. In a context fueled by the spread of disinformation, audiences seem to trust close journalistic sources, while national and international leaders are seen as polarized. However, local journalism has few resources for fact checking. In this context, we explore some of the strategies developed by local news organizations to avoid the proliferation of fake news. This study uses a multiple-case study on four local media outlets from similar media systems (Spain and Portugal) as a qualitative research strategy. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with local journalists and secondary data analysis, we examine how these media outlets deal with fake news, shedding light on internal fact-checking resources and other original strategies applied. From our interviews, their journalists are aware of the problem, asking for more training; whereas their organizations have different approaches to the digital platforms where most of disinformation circulates. These findings contribute to the scant literature on the role of the local field in disinformation, arguing that the social mission of local journalism may be a guarantee against fake news if their journalists are trained.

Type of Publication
articles-and-papers
Theme
disinformation
Publishing
MDPI Journalism and Media Journal
Publishing Date
2024
Language
english
Status
open-access
DOI
10.3390/journalmedia5010005
Authors
Ángeles Fernández-Barrero; Rubén Rivas-de-Roca; Concha Pérez-Curiel