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In journalism, it begins and ends with credibility. It’s what allows news organizations to rise above the noise of online chatter. Unfortunately, it seems that in the effort to chase traffic and capitalize on viral content, media companies are propagating misinformation far more often than they are debunking rumors. According to Craig Silverman’s report for the Tow Center, many news organizations don’t go far enough when reporting unverified claims. Once an unverified story gets picked up by the press, the public assumption is that it’s true. You might recall the errors in reporting the Boston bombing. But because hoaxes and rumours don’t need journalists to propagate, Silverman concludes newsrooms can’t just sit on the sidelines. We’ll talk about Silverman’s report on this week’s Mediatwits podcast with Craig Silverman, founder of Emergent.info and fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University; Michael Calderone, senior media reporter at the Huffington Post; Jay Hathaway, staff writer at Gawker; and George Kelly, former editor for the Bay Area News Group. We’ll be joined this week by regular Andrew Lih of American University. PBS MediaShift’s Mark Glaser will host and Jefferson Yen will be producing.

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