Dow Jones workshop tackles fake news

6 April 2018

A keyboard with keys spelling fake news
Engagement with news is being eroded by social media channels that propagate fake news.

How to stop the erosion of trust in news outlets and fight back against 'fake news' was the theme of a workshop held by Cardiff University and Dow Jones recently.

The two-day workshop was hosted by the University's MSc Computational and Data Journalism degree and led by Dow Jones Global CEO Will Lewis.

The degree, which is delivered jointly by the School of Journalism, Media and Culture and the School Computer Science and Informatics, welcomed postgraduate students from both schools to discuss and propose strategies to help disillusioned consumers to re-engage with news.

MSc co-director Glyn Mottershead described the challenge faced by the students, "Engagement with daily news is being eroded by social media channels that propagate fake news, filter bubbles and reinforce bias.

Fake News workshop
Students discussed digital strategies to help consumers re-engage with news.

"Dow Jones specialise in delivering business and financial news through titles such as The Wall Street Journal and their ability to blend journalistic accuracy and data integrity, so it was an amazing opportunity for our students to work on pitches with members of their senior team."

Several senior Dow Jones executives led the students through a series of intense workshops to firstly conceptualise and then design their idea.  The workshop concluded with each team pitching their solution.

Will Lewis summerised the collective themes to emerge from the pitches which included personalisation, a moral imperative for news accuracy and the primacy of data at the heart of a news organisation.

MSc co-director Dr. Martin Chorley said, "It was fantastic for the students to be able to work closely with executives from across Dow Jones, to speak to them, to hear about the issues facing the company and the solutions they’ve already come up with, and to experience an intense, agile product-development process.

"I was really pleased to see the high quality of the outputs the student came up with and I'd like to congratulate the winning team, 'Identified', for their solution which combined machine learning and human investigation to tackle malicious information presented as news."