Wikipedia is twenty. It’s time to start covering it better. – Columbia Journalism Review

“In the first years of the site, the press enjoyed noting funny instances of Wikipedia vandalism. But, as the tone of the coverage shifts toward praise, and on the site’s 20th anniversary, we feel journalism should help readers better understand Wikipedia’s policies and inner workings—in other words, improve the general public’s Wikipedia literacy. We have identified two major themes that might help reporters in this effort….

Although it is true that Wikipedia is, broadly-speaking, an openly editable project, journalists who suggest that the encyclopedia itself is a free-for-all do a disservice to their readers. Over the years, the Wikipedia community has created a large number of mechanisms that regulate its market of ideas. Perhaps the most important one is the ability to lock articles for public editing. 

 

Anyone can edit Wikipedia, but temporarily disabling people from editing it anonymously can go an extremely long way in preventing disinformation. Articles such as the “COVID-19 pandemic” are subject to semi-protection, meaning that anonymous IP editing is not allowed and that any contributors must register an account. Other articles have more extensive protections, such as the article on Donald Trump, which has long been subject to extended-confirmed protection, meaning that only Wikipedia editors who have been active for 30 days and who have performed at least 500 edits can directly edit Trump’s page….

 

Wikipedia, in the singular, does not “decide” or “ban” anything; rather, the community, or different groups within it, reach a temporary consensus on certain issues. That’s understandably hard to pack within a headline. But journalism suggesting that Wikipedia is a monolithic agent with a single point of view simply misses the mark. …

 

A key determinant of notability is whether the subject has received significant coverage from reliable media sources. The volunteer Wikipedia editor who declined the draft page about Strickland did so because, according to the guideline, there wasn’t enough coverage of Strickland’s work in news articles and other independent secondary sources to establish her notability. Katherine Maher, executive director of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, later wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times headlined “Wikipedia Mirrors the World’s Gender Biases, It Doesn’t Cause Them.” Rather than cast the blame on Wikipedia or its policies, Maher challenged journalists to write more stories about notable women like Strickland so that volunteer Wikipedians had sufficient material to source in their own attempts to fix the bias. The media can do more than just call out biases on Wikipedia; it can also help address them. …”

CC at 20: CEO Catherine Stihler Reflects on 2022 and Where CC Is Headed Next

Last Friday (16 December 2022), Creative Commons proudly celebrated twenty years of CC licensing and all the groundbreaking collaboration it has enabled. As we look back on this remarkable journey, time seems to pass more quickly than ever — yet our gratitude for each milestone remains unwavering, as do words of thanks towards everyone who … Read More “CC at 20: CEO Catherine Stihler Reflects on 2022 and Where CC Is Headed Next”
The post CC at 20: CEO Catherine Stihler Reflects on 2022 and Where CC Is Headed Next appeared first on Creative Commons.

Science in motion: A qualitative analysis of journalists’ use and perception of preprints | PLOS ONE

Abstract:  This qualitative study explores how and why journalists use preprints—unreviewed research papers—in their reporting. Through thematic analysis of interviews conducted with 19 health and science journalists in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it applies a theoretical framework that conceptualizes COVID-19 preprint research as a form of post-normal science, characterized by high scientific uncertainty and societal relevance, urgent need for political decision-making, and value-related policy considerations. Findings suggest that journalists approach the decision to cover preprints as a careful calculation, in which the potential public benefits and the ease of access preprints provided were weighed against risks of spreading misinformation. Journalists described viewing unreviewed studies with extra skepticism and relied on diverse strategies to find, vet, and report on them. Some of these strategies represent standard science journalism, while others, such as labeling unreviewed studies as preprints, mark a departure from the norm. However, journalists also reported barriers to covering preprints, as many felt they lacked the expertise or the time required to fully understand or vet the research. The findings suggest that coverage of preprints is likely to continue post-pandemic, with important implications for scientists, journalists, and the publics who read their work.

 

Caution, Preprint! Brief Explanations Allow Nonscientists to Differentiate Between Preprints and Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles – Tobias Wingen, Jana B. Berkessel, Simone Dohle, 2022

Abstract:  A growing number of psychological research findings are initially published as preprints. Preprints are not peer reviewed and thus did not undergo the established scientific quality-control process. Many researchers hence worry that these preprints reach nonscientists, such as practitioners, journalists, and policymakers, who might be unable to differentiate them from the peer-reviewed literature. Across five studies in Germany and the United States, we investigated whether this concern is warranted and whether this problem can be solved by providing nonscientists with a brief explanation of preprints and the peer-review process. Studies 1 and 2 showed that without an explanation, nonscientists perceive research findings published as preprints as equally credible as findings published as peer-reviewed articles. However, an explanation of the peer-review process reduces the credibility of preprints (Studies 3 and 4). In Study 5, we developed and tested a shortened version of this explanation, which we recommend adding to preprints. This explanation again allowed nonscientists to differentiate between preprints and the peer-reviewed literature. In sum, our research demonstrates that even a short explanation of the concept of preprints and their lack of peer review allows nonscientists who evaluate scientific findings to adjust their credibility perception accordingly. This would allow harvesting the benefits of preprints, such as faster and more accessible science communication, while reducing concerns about public overconfidence in the presented findings.

 

An analysis of journalism articles achieving high Altmetric attention scores – ScienceOpen

Abstract:  New methods of judging the impact of academic articles now include alternative metrics, and the goal of this study was to provide an insight into the journals and papers with top Altmetric attention scores (AAS) in the field of journalism. Scopus and Dimensions were used as the primary data sources. Fifteen journalism journals were identified from Scopus, and papers from these journals with an Altmetric Attention Score of over 100 were collected from Dimensions as the study’s sample, which comprised 87 papers. Most of the papers with high AAS were published after 2017, and five were published in 2022. The sample included a larger number of closed access articles ( n = 50) than open access ( n = 37), although analysis revealed that open access articles had higher median Tweets than closed access. Articles on journalism practice were more likely to receive attention from news outlets. None of the papers with high AAS are highly cited, which may be due to the limited time to accumulate citations. The journal with the highest impact factor (Digital Journalism) did not have the greatest number of papers with high AAS, but had far higher scores on Twitter engagement than the other journals. The results do not show any correlation between impact factors and citation metrics and social metrics.

 

Public use and public funding of science | Nature Human Behaviour

Abstract:  Knowledge of how science is consumed in public domains is essential for understanding the role of science in human society. Here we examine public use and public funding of science by linking tens of millions of scientific publications from all scientific fields to their upstream funding support and downstream public uses across three public domains—government documents, news media and marketplace invention. We find that different public domains draw from various scientific fields in specialized ways, showing diverse patterns of use. Yet, amidst these differences, we find two important forms of alignment. First, we find universal alignment between what the public consumes and what is highly impactful within science. Second, a field’s public funding is strikingly aligned with the field’s collective public use. Overall, public uses of science present a rich landscape of specialized consumption, yet, collectively, science and society interface with remarkable alignment between scientific use, public use and funding.

 

Societal impact of university research in the written press: media attention in the context of SIUR and the open science agenda among social scientists in Flanders, Belgium | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Transferring scientific knowledge to non-academic audiences is an essential aspect of the open science agenda, which calls for scholars to pursue a popularization of their research. Accordingly, purposefully introducing scientific insights to the public at large is almost univocally deemed commendable. Indeed, in today’s models of research evaluation, the objects and activities considered are being extended beyond peer-reviewed journal articles to include non-scholarly popular communication. Although altmetrics offer one instrumental way to count some interactions with lay audiences, their reliance on social media makes them susceptible to manipulation, and mostly reflect circulation among niche audiences. In comparison, attention from non-scholarly media like newspapers and magazines seems a more relevant pathway to effectuate societal impact, due to its recognition in qualitative assessment tools and its broad, societal reach. Based on a case study of social scientists’ attention by newspapers and magazines in Flanders (northern Dutch-speaking region of Belgium) in 2019, this paper highlights that frequent participation in the public debate is reserved for high-status researchers only. Results show highly skewed media appearance patterns in both career position and gender, as eight male professors accounted for almost half of all 2019 media attention for social scientists. Because media attention is highly subject-dependent moreover, certain disciplines and fields offer easier pathways to popularization in media than others. Both the open science agenda and research assessment models value presence of researchers in popular media, adding written press attention to existing evaluation assessments however would disproportionately disadvantage early career researchers and exacerbate existing inequalities in academia.

 

 

Quartz is taking down the paywall on QZ.com — Quartz

“We are excited to announce that we have lifted the paywall on QZ.com, and are making the vast majority of our journalism free for everyone to read….

Starting today, you won’t encounter any paywalls on QZ.com articles, though we may ask you to register for free with an email address after repeated use….

Our 25,000 paying members will continue to receive exclusive access to two premium emails: the Quartz Weekend Brief, which sums up the past week, and The Forecast, which looks far ahead to emerging trends and industries. It’s a great way to augment your experience of Quartz and to fund high-quality business journalism with an important mission….”

Why the snippet tax of the EU Copyright Directive is pointless and doomed to fail – Walled Culture

“The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market contains two spectacularly bad ideas. One is the upload filter of Article 17, which will wreak havoc not just on creativity in the EU, but also on freedom of speech there, as algorithms block perfectly legal material. The other concerns the “snippet tax” of Article 15, more formally known as ancillary copyright..

Just as the impetus for the upload filter came from the music and film industries, so the lobbying for Article 15 came from newspaper publishers. The logic behind their demand, such as it was, seemed to be that Google was making money from ads on its pages that had some links to newspaper sites. That ignored two inconvenient facts. First, that Google’s dedicated news site, Google News, had precisely zero ads on its pages. And secondly, the pages on the main Google search engine that did have ads, had many other search hits alongside links to newspapers. And those links to newspaper sites send a considerable flow of traffic, that publishers have repeatedly shown they are desperate to have….”

Black Press Archives at Howard University Gets Preserved, Digitized Thanks to $2M Grant | The Dig at Howard University

“The Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) received a $2 million grant from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation to support the preservation and digitization of the Black Press Archives, a newspaper collection of titles by Black journalists, editors and publishers. MSRC worked in partnership with the Center for Journalism and Democracy to secure this critical gift, and the center will be committing additional funds to the project to ensure a significant number of publications in the Black Press Archives are available in an online repository for worldwide research….”

The Open Notebook and the art of science journalism – Research Outreach

“The importance of quality science journalism has been widely recognised throughout the long months of the COVID-19 pandemic. What is less frequently discussed is the unique skillset that is required to undertake this vital form of translation: ensuring that the complexity of cutting-edge research is communicated in such a way that it remains exciting, accurate, and digestible. The Open Notebook has therefore set itself a critical task: to ensure science, health and environmental journalists have the requisite skills and assistance to convey their message. Research Outreach spoke to Siri Carpenter, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the organisation, about the challenges and rewards of this most interesting form of journalism….”

Science in motion: A qualitative analysis of journalists’ use and perception of preprints | bioRxiv

Abstract:  This qualitative study explores how and why journalists use preprints — unreviewed research papers — in their reporting. Through thematic analysis of interviews conducted with 19 health and science journalists in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it applies a theoretical framework that conceptualizes COVID-19 preprint research as a form of post-normal science, characterized by high scientific uncertainty and societal relevance, urgent need for political decision-making, and value-related policy considerations. Findings suggest that journalists approach the decision to cover preprints as a careful calculation, in which the potential public benefits and the ease of access preprints provided were weighed against risks of spreading misinformation. Journalists described viewing unreviewed studies with extra skepticism and relied on diverse strategies to find, vet, and report on them. Some of these strategies represent standard science journalism, while others, such as labeling unreviewed studies as preprints, mark a departure from the norm. However, journalists also reported barriers to covering preprints, as many felt they lacked the expertise or the time required to fully understand or vet the research. The findings suggest that coverage of preprints is likely to continue post-pandemic, with important implications for scientists, journalists, and the publics who read their work.

 

Science in motion: A qualitative analysis of journalists’ use and perception of preprints | bioRxiv

Abstract:  This qualitative study explores how and why journalists use preprints — unreviewed research papers — in their reporting. Through thematic analysis of interviews conducted with 19 health and science journalists in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it applies a theoretical framework that conceptualizes COVID-19 preprint research as a form of post-normal science, characterized by high scientific uncertainty and societal relevance, urgent need for political decision-making, and value-related policy considerations. Findings suggest that journalists approach the decision to cover preprints as a careful calculation, in which the potential public benefits and the ease of access preprints provided were weighed against risks of spreading misinformation. Journalists described viewing unreviewed studies with extra skepticism and relied on diverse strategies to find, vet, and report on them. Some of these strategies represent standard science journalism, while others, such as labeling unreviewed studies as preprints, mark a departure from the norm. However, journalists also reported barriers to covering preprints, as many felt they lacked the expertise or the time required to fully understand or vet the research. The findings suggest that coverage of preprints is likely to continue post-pandemic, with important implications for scientists, journalists, and the publics who read their work.

 

Journalism is a public good. Let the public make it. – Columbia Journalism Review

“For decades, we have invested so much time, money, and hope in the idea that a small group of individuals who are experts in their field can solve the enormous, complex challenge of building and supporting an informed citizenry. But the longer I’ve worked in this industry—and the more I’ve grappled with the core questions of what and who makes journalism in the public interest—the more clearly I’ve seen the error of this thinking. This is not a problem that journalists can solve on our own. The best response to the current crisis in journalism is to get more people involved, at a level at which everyone is willing and able to participate. Not just as news consumers, but as distributors and—most importantly—producers of local information….

The solution to the current crisis in journalism isn’t simply to save jobs, but to willingly and intentionally democratize the means of journalistic production. New infrastructure that weaves together participatory media and public assets will democratize journalistic skills and could unlock a movement for collective action, a not-so-secret weapon against news deserts and misinformation hidden in plain sight. It relies on thousands of everyday people who are eager to participate, organizations with physical media-makerspaces, and communities taking collective action….

There is no number of news articles that will save us from the challenges ahead, but there are a million people willing to take on the role of “Observer,” “Courtwatcher,” “Community Correspondent,” “Info Hub Captain,” or “Documenter” for their neighborhood, block, or building. Let’s build new newsrooms as civic hubs—and integrate existing newsrooms into community spaces. Let’s train many more people to commit acts of journalism without going into debt for a costly degree. Let’s open up the field of journalism to include residents working alongside reporters on some of the biggest questions facing our communities. …”