Journalism & Disinformation
Professional journalists, editors, and news organizations stand as a bulwark against the threat of disinformation. Yet disinformation also disrupts the practice of journalism itself. PEN America’s 2022 report, Hard News: Journalists and the Threat of Disinformation, captured the findings of a survey of over 1,000 reporters and editors from around the United States. The survey found that disinformation is having a dramatic impact on journalists and their work, creating new burdens and risks, and that newsrooms–already facing a confluence of challenges–are often struggling to respond.
PEN America believes an empowered public and vibrant news ecosystem are the best means of countering disinformation’s pernicious effects. As such, we are working to develop resources and offer support for journalists and newsrooms to manage the new challenges posed by disinformation, with an eye towards enabling equitable access to credible information and advancing a healthy information landscape.
Hard News Findings
- 97% of journalists surveyed think disinformation is a serious problem for journalism today
- Most deal with disinformation regularly: 61% on some days and 15% on all or most days
- More than 90% had made one or more changes in their journalistic practice as a result of disinformation
- Only 30% of journalists surveyed said their news outlet had generally effective processes in place to cope with disinformation; 40% said no organization-wide approach exists.
PEN America Resources
Twitter Bot Detection Toolkit
Media Literacy Toolkit
Communicating During Contentious Times: Dos and Don’ts to Rise Above the Noise
The Reporters Guide to Covering the 2020 Election
Trusted Messengers: How Community Engagement Journalism is Uniquely Positioned to Slow the Spread of Mis/Disinformation
Online Harassment Field Manual
Online abuse poses an urgent and growing threat to free expression, equity, and inclusion.
Whether you’re experiencing or witnessing online abuse, this Field Manual offers concrete strategies for how to defend yourself and others. We wrote this guidance with and for those disproportionately impacted by online abuse: writers, journalists, artists, and activists who identify as women, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQIA+. Whatever your identity or vocation, anyone active online will find useful tools and resources here for navigating online abuse and tightening digital safety.
Hard News: Journalists and the Threat of Disinformation
PEN America’s nationwide survey of more than 1,000 reporters and editors on how disinformation is disrupting the practice of journalism.
Hate in the Headlines
This report builds on the work of journalists and experts in journalism, media, and extremism to examine how the news media has grappled with the challenges of reporting on rising far-right extremism in the United States.