The Aspen Institute and the Knight Foundation recently released a report on a commission they organized about Trust, Media and Democracy. While coming from America, we believe most can apply wider.
If you don’t have the time for the length report, this medium page is very interesting. Here are our takeaways in the light of our previous posts, regrouped in 3 main categories:
10 ways to rebuild trust in media and democracy
Before starting up, we can not resist to simply cut and paste the introduction paragraph: “Our nation is experiencing a crisis of trust. We believe that reliable news is vital to our democracy, but many of us can’t name an objective news source. Concern about “fake news” is high, but we can’t agree on what that means. We can’t even assume every American is operating under the same set of facts. We retreat to polarized political tribes and don’t want to listen to anyone outside them.” – Superbly written and so much in alignment with what we believe and the motivation to create TrustedOut.
Of course, the purpose here is not a posture of “we know better” but rather than copycatting what the article says, simply note we wrote about most of those points and thus, are in agreement with them.
For 10 years. Fake pharmaceutical, fake CEO, real top-notch business school.
It’s the real story of the fake story of Berden and its CEO. Both are the result of a top notch curriculum at HEC in France. [HBR story here]. The course is to control Enterprise reputation and the challenge was to create a Co., Berden, and its CEO, Eric Dumontpierre. And the success was incredible. For 10 years, the CEO was beloved, the company was super visible, to the point a real competitor sent a cease and decease for a… fake product of fake Berden.
The trick: Do not talk to medias
“The students had only one constraint to respect: not to communicate directly with the media. They had to build their reputation organically, by building an online ecosystem of websites and social network accounts where they would publish press releases and other information about the company, its history and activities.”
The method: Spread false…
Recent studies show that false information is easier to peddle than true information
Research on the dissemination of “fake news” shows that students have used communication techniques identified decades ago by researchers as drivers of this phenomenon. Readers are more likely to circulate strong stories that evoke emotions such as fear (river pollution), disgust (child labour) and surprise or joy (32-hour work week) than smooth stories.
… repeat, until it sounds true.
Researchers have shown that repetition increases perceived veracity. In other words, familiarity induces credibility.
The fix: Trust profiled medias.
As previously written here, the solution to avoid this chaos is for medias to have clear values delivered and defended by professional journalists. THE weak point, the trick used here is the absence of contact with medias.
Absence of media opens the door to total chaos in education, opinions and decision-making. TrustedOut Corpus Intelligence is here to profile a totally unbiased, AI-Operated, Media database so Intelligence tools are fed with the content business analysts trust.
In this week’s Axios Media Trends, we can read “Major tech companies and moguls are pouring lots of money into initiatives to support quality journalism, after months of bad headlines about fake news and the longer-term struggles of business models for journalism, especially at the local level.”
Doing it again.
Microsoft President is making a very interesting point:
“I think we should all care about high quality journalism. … I keep hoping that we’re gonna see the journalism profession come out the other end. Remember, a decade ago, people were saying, ‘Gee, there’s no future in high quality audio visual entertainment.’ It [was] being decimated by cable and then a new business model emerged.”
— Brad Smith
Facebook, Google: $300M each.
Large tech are showing signs of love to journalism. After the 200,000 free Google Suite account, Facebook and Google, each are granting $300M to news programs. WordPress is also investing “six figures” in The News Project, a full-service publishing platform specifically built for digital news publishers.
WordPress just announced Newspack in partnership with… Google.
“While local media might not get as much coverage as the national press, it serves an equally important role in society. That’s why the decline of local newsrooms in the U.S. has been a troublesome trend in recent years. The Google News Initiative is now partnering with WordPress to invest $1.2 million in creating a “fast, secure, low-cost publishing system tailor-made to the needs of small newsrooms” called Newspack (backed by Google, the Lenfest Institute, the Knight Foundation, and others.)
Journalism, the cure to media distrust.
As we wrote previously, quality journalism respecting privacy and transparency, delivering the brand values of the media they work for is the solution to the current distrust, driving to misinformation and, ultimately, to violence.
Our content team worked very hard to define, what we hope is “the most comprehensive and media profiles database, and select all the necessary fields and always up-to-date taxonomy. Of course, this is an on-going process but so far….
We are today at 66 fields and 450 categories.
Along the way, we challenged ourselves on how insightful a field would be to decide to add it.
“Out of digital” is a field collecting all supports beyond online for a media, such as paper, radio, TV….
Now, the question is: Does it matter? or for TrustedOut goal…
Do Pure Players have an impact on your analytics?
We ran our Corpus Analytics on the Corpus used for the BPI Events:
And did an A/B testing, all media and Pure Players only with 2 versions of a Corpus using the very same analytics tools, here Netvibes, and arrive to the conclusion:
Yes, Pure Players influence your analytics.
So, we kept “Out of digital” for our Corpus Intelligence and now our AI keeps on updating it at all time.
“Avoid Media to get informed” – Yellow Vest leader
The movement in the center of the news does not recognize itself when they watch the news. This creates a profound distrust driving to confrontation, and violence. “Between live shows showing the “truth” shared thousands of times, comments by hundreds insulting journalists, and even an event proposing to “besiege the media” – gatherings in front of television channels”
In our blog post referenced above, we covered ways to improve the trust in media:
1/ Journalists to defend themselves…
2/ and improve with more accuracy, more transparency and less bias…
3/ with recognized sources and countered partisan perceptions…
4/ led with their media brand values.
2. Trust what leaders trust.
“In seeking information online, Yellow Vests are also influenced by “messengers”, who themselves do not like the media… it is difficult to “prioritize what is most important, in terms of credibility, in the public’s choices”…
“one of the most important criteria is the advice of peers, that is, people in whom I trust or resemble me”.”
From the article: One leader says he likes reading Russia Today, another likes someone “close to Dieudonné (convicted in court eight times on antisemitism) or Alain Soral (Critic of Capitalism, communitarianism, feminism, Zionism)”. In a stream of information without hierarchy, where a comment on Facebook, a live video or a media article have the same value, all truths would be good to take. Sometimes opening the door to conspiracy theories, as we have seen over the past few weeks.”
We are our education.
Don’t get us wrong here, we are not trying to denigrate this or any other movements. All this is fine as long as you are aware of who wrote what you read, which will drive your opinions, your decision-making and thus, who you are. In other words, gauge where information is coming from before doing anything with it. Think before you act. Gauge before you like, retweet, comment…
This is true at the individual level, reader, protester, thought leader, but even more true for businesses. How can you make strategic decisions — analytics/intelligence, ad placements or PR efforts — on content not corresponding to your trust criteria??
We covered some of this in this blog post about Trust over education stages, colleges and high school.
We are at a critical inflection point in the way we get and act upon our news. Trend, so far, has been to distrust media which moved readers to social networks. Numbers show there is even less trust in social media and echo chambers with closed groups can be a threat to democracy (France: 35% general news vs 19% social networks, USA: 34% general news vs 13% social networks). So, what do we do?
Yes, this is why we are doing TrustedOut. We will in production in early 2019 but are already accepting beta testers (interested? let us know asap).
While identifying who’s talking is mandatory to anything you do with any content, TrustedOut focused, for now, on Business to Business with…
IMMEDIATE BENEFITS FOR:
‣ Business Intelligence: Trust the Decisions you make with content you trust.
‣ Brand Safety: Define the perimeter of media you trust to promote your brand.
‣ PR Coverage: Set and compare different media groups by trust levels.
“Everything that once seemed definitively and unquestionably real now seems slightly fake; everything that once seemed slightly fake now has the power and presence of the real,” Max Read writes for New York Magazine.”
And yes, we also agree with “Why it matters.”
“Legit media companies and businesses need to be making decisions for their human customers. That gets harder for everyone when bots and fake metrics swamp the internet.”
Top predictions, results of a lesson learned the hard way: 2019 will be the year of Privacy and transparency.
Hereafter are our favorite parts from the article:
In 2019, Marketers Will Strike the Right Balance of Personalization and Privacy. Lynne Capozzi, CMO, Acquia
“… 2019 will be the year that marketers not only prioritize data privacy, but they start to get the balance right — offering the appropriate amount of personalization and privacy to build customer relationships based on trust. Consumers will continue to challenge brands to do so — otherwise they’ll move on. …”
Transparency Will Make Much Bigger Cracks Within the Digital Ecosystem as CMOs Prioritize Tech Partners. Mike Pallad, President, Undertone (cross-platform synchronized digital marketing for the world’s most prominent brands)
“…In the coming year, the demand for transparency will finally force marketers to choose only the tech partners that most empower them to understand the reach, frequency, and impact of their campaigns (across all of their digital partners), allowing them to spend in the most intelligent ways….”
CMOs Will Stop “Going with Their Gut” And Truly Harness Data to Make Informed Decisions. Matt Sweeney, President of Xaxis North America
“86% of US brand marketers plan to invest in outcome-driven media over the next 2 years. In 2019, CMOs will make strides toward outcome-driven media, allowing them to tie their media metrics more directly to their business goals. … By truly harnessing their data, CMOs will no longer need to go with their gut instincts when making media investment decisions. They will be more agile with their budgets and media strategies, using data to deliver better returns and deliver the best consumer experiences.”
Better media, greater profiling.
Our takeaway here is two folds:
An opportunity for an improved trust in better media.
In our previous post, Optimism and method for greater trust in media., we wrote “to improve media should have Journalists to defend themselves and improve with more accuracy, more transparency and less bias with recognized sources and countered partisan perceptions led with their media brand values.”
This prediction confirms our reading of Gallup and Axios.
A strong need for media profiling.
As media strengthen their brand values and, at the same time, Marketers will get less intrusive customer data, they will rely, even more, on analyzing the media pulse within their well defined audiences. This is the market purpose of TrustedOut.
As this profiling must not be biased and permanently updated, only an AI-operated profiling can deliver this. This is the tech foundation of TrustedOut.
Of course, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
According to Axios, “efforts to bring transparency to media — including attempts by journalists to publicly defend their work, media literacy campaigns, more transparent funding and improved fact-checking partnerships — have helped the media recover a bit of trust with the public after hitting an all-time low in 2016″
How to continue to improve?
Journalists to defend themselves…
“study from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication suggests that journalists can actually increase trust in the media by speaking out in defense of their profession …
… and improve with more accuracy, more transparency and less bias…
… while also doing more fact checking.: Which is second with this “poll by Gallup and The Knight Foundation this year found that efforts to restore media trust among most Americans can work “particularly if those efforts are aimed at improving accuracy, enhancing transparency and reducing bias.”
… with recognized sources and countered partisan perceptions…
“people are less likely to perceive a report or set of facts as being biased if they are unaware of the outlet producing them. It concludes that restoring trust in the news media may then require news companies to actually address and counter shared perceptions of bias and inaccuracy within partisan groups.”
Values of a brand are the trustworthiness of a media,
A brand will fight for its value, here with media, for accuracy, for its perspective and tone and always deliver what you expect from this brand. An article may, accidentally, be wrong, an author may sometimes be wrong, the only safety net is the brand which will fight back, correct and improve.
In a chaotic and challenging environment, Brand values are the only solutions for stable trust.
Like with cars or food, some people may not like a brand and like another one, but those brands will always deliver, and fight for, the values you expect from them.
This is why, unsurprisingly, those surveys are aligned with our mission at TrustedOut: Focusing and profiling media brands so you can define those you trust and those you don’t. Define your corpus and feed your analytic tools or create your brand safety perimeter of your trust for your strategic decisions.
We liked this LinkedIn’s post and wanted hereafter to share our takeaways (@X refers to the Big Idea X):
A. The desire for Trust in Businesses.
Via paying local taxes and regulations @#9. “Governments will seize the opportunity to regulate Big Tech.” and @42. “Order comes to the Wild West of data collection”
Via a clear fear of sizes getting too big “before it’s outside our control and we can’t see the consequences of it” @31. “Businesses will favor integrity over growth.”
B. The desire for Trust in exchanges.
@37. “We will reach peak outrage.
In the last couple of years, public opinion has been driven by “polarized tribes,” says Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism: “Outrage has been modified, optimized, personalized and, of course, monetized.” Outrage, like fear, is helpful in the short term but unsustainable in the long term, she says. “Many do not want to live in a state of semi-permanent outrage, they’re simply tired of it,” she adds. “And I believe increasingly, people are going to want to reclaim consensus, collaboration and shared values rather than polarizing ones.” While Bay is referring to the United States, any country where people discuss politics on social media will recognize a version of this. She points to a study by More In Common which showed that 67% of Americans did not conform to partisan ideology or had disengaged from politics. They’ve been dubbed the “exhausted majority.””
And, @43. “We will ask ourselves hard questions about what free speech means.”, the classic “Free speech vs diversity and inclusion” on which we posted this a few days ago: “Media trust over education stages“
C. The desire for Trust in Brands
@45. “Brands won’t be able to stay neutral. Consumers and employees increasingly expect companies to take a position on the day’s issues and live their values…”
This needs for Brand values to be shared and stood for is in line with the role of Brands as explained and applied by Edward Bernays.
Of course, Brands applies to media brands and thus the need to profile them to build your perimeter of trust, mandatory to feed your analytic tools and guarantee your Brand Safety. This is what TrustedOut is about.
The need for AI.
@#7. “AI will be in every industry and every job”. Of course, we agree. We are using AI to avoid human physical limitations and bias.
Another way to say it is we believe AI is an element of the desire for Trust.
The need for ethic in AI.
We are aware of the risk of a fraudulent, oriented AI. IBM launched a tool to detect bias in AI , the excellent “Weapons of Math Destruction” (PDF here) and many more… This is why transparency with our AI is key to us, we will not have human entries so everything can be explained, nothing will be editorialized, no judgment, just collections and classifications machine-driven.
This is also why we were super proud to be finalist at the recent “The Robot of the Year” event, focused on Ethic AI.
Reminder: We solely focus on media profiling and are not doing any article fact checking, nor author scoring (Question #4 in our FAQ)