11.01.16: Is Facebook Partisan, This Song is Their Song, & Newsworthy

Nov 1, 2016

Flagrantly unsubstantiated "facts", misrepresented news, and deliberately false memes whooped up by the partisan fringes have been fast and furious this election... And thanks to Facebook's algorithm, fake news stories continue to trend. Today, if you yell at the Facebook echo chamber to stop, does it only get louder?

Then, in a contentious election season full of bombshells, boasts, and social media driving the outrage, how do newsrooms determine what deserves attention what doesn’t?

Listen to the full show. 

Is Facebook Hyper-Partisan?

Fact-checking has proliferated during election 2016. Good thing, because fake news websites, misrepresented facts, unsubstantiated  claims, conspiracies, doctored images, fake memes, and deliberately misleading information whooped up on the partisan fringes have been fast and furious. They're like red meat for people seeking to confirm their biases, beliefs and respective worldviews, and thanks to Facebook's algorithm, which in fake news stories continue to trend. We spoke with Buzzfeed editor Craig Silverman about his article "Hyper Partisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate."

This Song Is Their Song

After the attacks on September 11th, several major league ballparks across the country began playing “God Bless America" during the break. Most have continued, except the Red Sox of course. And last year, the Baltimore Orioles started celebrating America with another song: Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land."

Ben Strauss is a contributing writer for the New York Times and that's where we found his article, "Orioles Deliver A Seventh-Inning Message: This Song Is Their Song."

What Makes Something Newsworthy?

What is "newsworthiness" - and how is it determined? How have shrinking resources and new technology changed what gets reported, and what falls to the wayside? And what's gone unreported while election 2016 seemed to suck up all in the air in the room? We're exploring those questions with Ron Elving, senior editor and correspondent on the Washington desk for NPR - and regular on the NPR Politics Podcast and Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar at Poynter.

Concerts at the White House

What do Queen Latifah, Lyle Lovett, Mick Jagger, and Nick Jonas all have in common? They have performed at the White House. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave has showcased some of the world’s most famous musicians over the years, this wasn’t always the case. This story comes to us from the Kennedy Center and is narrated by Richard Dreyfuss.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org