Our project consists in a protocol for the communication on how the news change between media outlets and its audience. We want to let the audience know how the news change and evolve.
The protocol has been implemented in a Wordpress Plugin to publish Newsdiffs in standard endpoints. In this way users can know how posts have evolved through a proactive transparency approach adopted by the site.
How is it relevant?¶
The application of this tool is inspired by Wikipedia’s View History functionality. In Latin America, editorial guidelines are lax, even in large, well-established media. Newsrooms edit content without notifying their audiences about the changes, and some of these editions severely modify the framing of the news. While some editions may be easily discarded as corrections, others should be disclosed to the public. Allowing the people to oversee these changes may also help to crowdsource the fight against misinformation, as Wikipedia’s collective intelligence has shown.
One of the biggest lessons from Wikipedia is that knowledge is a social construction. News are too: they are susceptible to bias, manipulation, and private interests. There’s nothing inherently wrong with editing – as a matter of fact, is one of the advantages of digital journalism. But it is different to update a text than changing a source, or adding multimedia content to offer context than removing information. Credibility and openness are intimately related, and newsrooms can learn from Wikipedia’s best practices.