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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
It's more effective for authoritative figures to present accurate facts early and routinely alongside misinformation, rather than trying to negate misinformation after-the-fact, according to conversations with experts.
Why it matters: Research provides a roadmap for more effective and efficient management of the coronavirus "infodemic" by health experts, government officials internet platforms and news companies.
1) Proactive messaging: Gaps in the public's background knowledge about common sense flu cures, like whether vitamin C prevents viruses, show "ongoing need for effective communication of needed information long before a crisis," according to research from Kathleen Hall Jamieson of Annenberg Public Policy Center and FactCheck.org.
2) Pre-bunking: People who made aware of the flawed reasoning found in conspiracy theories, they may become less vulnerable to such theories, says psychologist and professor Stephan Lewandowsky.
3) Label misinformation at the source level: It's better to rate the sources of misinformation that are repeat offenders, like certain websites or authors, rather than pieces of content themselves, argue Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz of NewsGuard.
4. Go where fake news spreads: It's not effective for health care officials to spread context in venues where people generally don't receive misinformation.
5. The 10% rule: Some experts say it's better to wait until a piece of misinformation reaches a 10% penetration level amongst the population before it's debunked, otherwise, you risk unintentionally spreading the rumor.
The big picture: When society began to seriously reckon with "fake news" and misinformation after the 2016 election, there were may efforts to impose binary solutions by identifying information as being true or false, and blocking or removing it accordingly. Experts say this is problematic.
Business and finance coverage is the fastest-growing area of news and information content during the coronavirus era, according to data from SimilarWeb.
The big picture: For the first time in several years, politics is not the top news category in America, or globally.
Driving the news: Of the several hundred global news websites measured by SimilarWeb for this analysis, business and finance news websites grew 42% year-over-year, while other types of news, like sports, lost significant traffic.
Between the lines: Viewership of business television is also up, alongside the rest of cable news and television news, as people are stuck at home.
Illustration: Axios/Sarah Grillo
With the future of the 2020 baseball season still unknown, ESPN is relying on reruns of classic games, including a May 12 telecast focused on Derek Jeter, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: ESPN sees value in re-airing classics, especially with mega-stars. Without live sports, it's the closest thing the network can offer to baseball fans, who tend to be older and less likely to tune into alternatives like eSports.
The Jeter game will be subject to a fan vote as part of ESPN’s MLB Encore Tuesdays series.
The big picture: Specialized programming around stars or historic games allows the network to build new content, like interviews with athletes, or fan engagement polls, which ESPN will be leveraging for its Jeter special.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
"Consortium coverage" is becoming a bigger trend as news companies experience dramatic businesses losses and join forces on complicated topics like coronavirus.
Driving the news: Colorado newsrooms are uniting to cover COVID-19. The Associated Press says it's worked with nearly two dozen Colorado news organizations to cover the state's response to the pandemic using a tool launched by the AP called "StoryShare," which allows newsrooms to share content and coverage plans.
Other states that have been using local teamwork to conquer tough beats.
Our thought bubble: Expect to see more local partnerships develop between newsrooms as news companies experience more economic fallout from the coronavirus.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Apple Podcasts has launched an updated News category in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia, a spokesperson tells Axios.
Why it matters: Podcast consumption for the news as a category is skyrocketing, according to data from podcast analytics company Podtrac.
Details: Beginning Tuesday, Apple's editorial team will recommend new collections and shows inside of the News category within Apple Podcasts, which will feature information around COVID-19 and the U.S. presidential election.
By the numbers: According to a spokesperson, Apple Podcasts now has 1 million shows in more than 100 languages and 175 countries and regions.
What's next: Similar news podcast recommendations will roll out to additional countries and regions in the future.
A detailed new analysis of how Google searches changed since January traces Americans' real-time scramble to get ahead of the pandemic as new information surfaced — from "What is coronavirus?" to "What is Zoom?"
Why it matters: The project by Google Trends, Schema and Axios shows how searches became more specific as infections spread across the United States — documenting Americans' urgency as questions shifted from the general to practical ones about how to protect themselves and how to get tested, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
The big picture: Tracking social media “sick posts” could give public health officials a head start on identifying emerging disease outbreaks, according to new research from the University of California, Davis.
While usage of most mobile apps has remained neutral during the coronavirus pandemic, social media app usage has exploded during the lockdown, according to new data from Nielsen.
Why it matters: Prior to the pandemic, consumers and tech companies were both becoming more aware of the overuse of social media and actively trying to limit it. In a time when people can't connect with friends and family in person, companies have put these efforts on pause.
The bottom line: The coronavirus pandemic is deepening users' immersion in social media at a moment when society had just begun to question it.
Snopes will be featured as its on category on Jeopardy! tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET. The 26-year-old fact-checking site has been mentioned a few times in questions over the years, but this is the first time it's getting its own category.