You Are Fake News! Factors Impacting Journalists’ Debunking Behaviors on Social Media

By conducting a U.S. Nationally representative survey with more than 400 journalists, this study delves into journalists’ perceptions of false information, social media use, and debunking actions to expose misleading content in online contexts. Our findings indicate low levels of debunking, although we found factors associated with journalists either confronting or reporting misinformation. On the one hand, journalists who use social media platforms to develop their brands and engage directly with their audiences are more likely to publicly confront misinformation. On the other hand, journalists who believe social media companies should be held accountable for the spread of fake news do not engage directly in confronting false information, but do report it when they encounter it. Taken together, our findings suggest the journalist-audience relationship plays a central role to understand debunking behaviors in online spaces.

Saldaña, M. (2021). Digital Journalism. PDF descargable aquí.