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‘It’s not up to him’: how media outlets plan to sidestep any Trump ‘victory’ news

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‘It’s not up to him’: how media outlets plan to sidestep any Trump ‘victory’ news by Bolaji22(m): Wed 04, November, 2020 12:31am

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[size=8pt][b] Newsrooms across the United States are bracing for a potentially volatile election night, after reports suggested that Donald Trump is planning to declare “victory” on Tuesday even before results from critical battleground states have been determined.

The president’s reported intention to make a premature – and potentially false – victory speech by the end of Tuesday night, with large numbers of mail-in ballots yet to be counted, has provoked intense journalistic debate. TV channels would be under pressure to air such an event on grounds that it is “news”, while aware that it amounted to dangerous misinformation that could stir violence across the nation and undermine the democratic process.

Such a clash of responsibilities would amount to a heady climax in the American media’s extremely vexed relationship with Trump over the past four years.


Were Trump to try to stage such a “victory” stunt it would chime with the relentless doubt that he has sown for months around the election, with repeated false claims that mail-in voting is riddled with fraud. His comments suggest that his aim is to create the illusion that the election is being stolen from him in states such as Pennsylvania where early results from in-person voting might favor Trump in a so-called “red mirage”, only for the balance to swing to Biden as absentee ballots are counted beyond election day.

As Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent for CNN, pointed out, any premature claim of victory would be electorally meaningless, the equivalent of a football coach bragging about having won at half-time. “That’s not how it works and it’s not up to him,” Tapper said in a tweet.

But it would still present media outlets with a classic Trump conundrum. How do you cover a presidential “victory” speech that is founded upon hot air yet has the potential to cause serious public discord?

Vivian Schiller, a former president and CEO of National Public Radio who was also NBC News’s chief digital officer, said that news organizations have no excuse for being unprepared for such an eventuality. Headlines such as “Trump declares victory”, especially on social media, could “shape public opinion and become a weapon against truth and trust in the democratic process,” she told the Guardian.


Schiller, who in her current role as executive director of Aspen Digital has co-written a 10-point plan for news rooms on how to cover a historically toxic election, proposed that TV channels should actively counter any Trump gambit. One technique would be to display a fixed on-screen banner reminding viewers that the votes are still being counted with no winner yet declared.

“If Trump goes on for more than a minute or two with falsehoods, cut away from the live feed and have your reporters explain that elections are not ‘called’ by their contestants,” she said. “Explain why such a premature declaration of victory is both wrong and dangerous

Jay Rosen, journalism professor at New York University, responded to the Axios story by calling on newsrooms to step up and meet the challenge. A premature Trump “victory” declaration would be the most important test yet of what he called the “fading maxim” that whatever the US president says is news.

That maxim, Rosen said on Twitter, was “corroded beyond repair by its abuser”


Election night is also likely to present the social media giants with challenges, after they struggled to counter misinformation throughout the presidential election cycle. Late on Monday, Twitter and Facebook announced that they would flag posts from candidates who claim to have won the election before the votes have been counted.

In Twitter’s case, a warning label on the tweet will say “Official sources called this election differently”, or that “Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted”. Users would still be able to quote tweet the post, but not to like or retweet it. The company says it will consider a result official after it has been declared by a state election official, or confirmed by two or more of a list of news outlets including Fox, CNN and the Associated Press.


Facebook’s warning labels, applied on both Facebook and Instagram, will state that “votes are being counted. The winner of the 2020 US presidential election has not been projected The company has also updated its “voting information centre”, which was that “Some election results may not be available for days or weeks. This means things are happening as expected

“Election officials will get the vote count right, and slower results reporting does not mean wrong or fraudulent results,” Facebook advises its users. “All Americans need to give election officials the time to do their jobs right


Bolaji
  

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RE: ‘It’s not up to him’: how media outlets plan to sidestep any Trump ‘victory’ news by Bolexsamzee(m): Thu 05, November, 2020 09:31am
Yeah, it is true

RE: ‘It’s not up to him’: how media outlets plan to sidestep any Trump ‘victory’ news by Gaseous(m): Fri 06, November, 2020 12:51am
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RE: ‘It’s not up to him’: how media outlets plan to sidestep any Trump ‘victory’ news by Lemmymajor(m): Sun 08, November, 2020 01:17am
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