Dagens Nyheter launches project to clearly label what's news and what's opinion onlinePeter Wolodarski. Photo: Press/Screenshot

Dagens Nyheter launches project to clearly label what’s news and what’s opinion online

Publicerad: 04 April 2016, kl. 9:38

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter has launched a project to more clearly label what’s opinion and what’s news articles online.

Adam Jönsson

‘‘The digitalization increases demand on news outlets who wants high trustworthiness. The growing demand for speed and around the clock reporting can easily supersede the demand for truth and relevance,’’ Dagens Nyheter’s editor-in-chief, Peter Wolodarski writes in an editorial Sunday. ‘‘In addition, there’s an increased risk for confusion between opinion and objective journalism when more and more of the material is being published in the same social [media] feeds.’’

The project, led by managing editor Caspar Optiz, stems from research showing that Facebook and other social media channels stimulates the growth of homogeneous and polarizing clusters of opinions, Wolodarski writes.

This can in turn mean that people only get information about their own worldview in their social media feeds, giving them the sense they speak for the silent majority, DN’s editor-in-chief continues.

An opinion piece on, for example, DN.se could therefore start false rumours that a newspaper has taken a clear stance on any given topic.

Wolodarski refers to the story of what happened to CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria to illustrate his point.

The reporter got a call threatening his daughters’ lives because an obscure American web site had written that Zakaria had encouraged to use American women as sex slaves on his private blog. It was a complete lie.

‘‘In the traditional print edition, most people are clear on what’s what. Online and in social media the difference is harder to detect. The categories are often merged visually,’’ Wolodarski writes.

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