Responsible reporting and responding is included in the masterclasses, as sometimes well-intentioned journalists can actually have the opposite effect. Before reporting journalists must consider the 'tipping point' - as sometimes addressing the content might actually spread it further or 'amplify' information that we don’t want to give any more public attention. In other words, shining a spotlight on false or misleading information — even if it’s to call it out as false or misleading — can spread it to a wider audience, potentially resulting in more harm than good.
Additionally, research from the fields of psychology and communication is outlined and used to maximise the positive impact of corrections. Unless a debunk is done appropriately, our brains are more likely to remember a falsehood. There is a craft to writing debunks! Our strategy also encourages journalists to consider not just how to counter misinformation by debunking it, but how to proactively build trust with audiences.
We also include additional Q and A follow up session for each newsroom and community group if required.
We’ve already enlisted news media from top tier national and regional mastheads, and plan to deliver in language to Māori and Chinese media and trusted community members. Once the election campaign kicks off, we’ll provide daily alerts and guidance to our media networks.