Credibility, journalism, and libraries — ideas of trust and responsibility

Title: Credibility, journalism, and libraries — ideas of trust and responsibility
Host/Reporter: Jeanine Finn
Participants:
Andrew Ott
Saul Tannenbaum
Suzanne Sullivan
Khara Whitney-Marsh
Katie Ingersoll
Ruth Urell
Dietmar Wolfram
Meredith McCulloch
Alexa Pearce
Marla Crockett
Mike Kettross
Jamie Helgun
Troy Espe
Mike LaBonte
Stephen Lippman
Debbie Holmes

Discussion: We had a wide-ranging discussion highlighting several themes related to credibility that are concerns for both journalists and librarians. As we work to broaden civic conversations and make room for the public to “report” on news and information, we may not be able to rely on traditional methods to evaluate source credibility. However, the ideas of critical thinking and contextual evaluation of sources remain important — whether the environment is analog or digital.

Our themes included:

Wikipedia-style collaborations. While the “anybody can edit it” model circumvents traditional models of authority, “many eyeballs” and a social contract and work to provide an ultimately fairly reliable resource.

Accountability is important. Is there a sense that misinformation has consequences within the community?

Local news is often under-reported, but offers real opportunities for citizen journalism engagement. Local reporters need to be on seen to be credible witnesses to local government activity (which is admittedly, often not terribly exciting) and be part of holding government accountable. We talked about projects like ProPublica and Knight Foundation efforts.