23 years ago, there was Snopes.com. Now there are at least 149 dedicated fact-checking projects around the world currently active, according to the latest census from the Duke Reporters’ Lab, released Thursday.

That’s up from 114 at the 2017 count, and up from 44 in the spring of 2014, when the Reporters’ Lab did a global tally for the first time.

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Data & Society released a pair of reports this week — one on fake news, the other on media literacy. Nothing shocking here, but the fake news report does a good job of describing how the two conflicting definitions of “fake news” symbolize a broader schism between scholars/researchers and the right-wing media. On the one hand, that’s kind of a “duh” point; on the other, seeing it put starkly as a right-wing-media-vs.-scholarly-community problem is a good reminder of why this issue is so thorny and complicated.


Even if they haven’t changed the world in the way some hyped, chatbots have become a compelling way for news organizations to experiment with telling familiar stories in a new format. Some big challenges stand in the way of widespread adoption, though. One is acclimating users to the format; another is winning over reporters.

The BBC News Labs and the BBC Visual Journalism team are trying to solve both issues with a single solution: a custom bot-builder application designed to make it as easy as possible for reporters to build chatbots and insert them into their stories. In a few minutes, a BBC reporter can input the text of an article, define the questions users can click, and publish the bot, which can then be reused and added to any other relevant article. BBC reporters can even repurpose existing Q&A explainers into bot-based conversations.

Salon gives readers a choice: view ads or mine cryptocurrency

Salon announced this week that visitors who insist on using an ad blocker must either disable it or mine cryptocurrency for the site.

For our beta program, we’ll start by applying your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker. We plan to further use any learnings from this to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology, digital currencies and other ways to better service the value exchange between content and user contribution.

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