Author Archives: Anna Slevin

Society of Scholarly Publishing: Fact vs Fake News

The Society for Scholarly Publishing held their regional event in late September at Springer Nature’s Macmillan Campus. With a panel of publishers, journalists, researchers and tech professionals discussing Fact vs Fake News: Who decides what’s true? Anna and Clare went along to hear more. Here is what Anna took away from the discussion:

The Market in Data

In the UK on average we spend 4 hours a day online on a desktop and 1 hour 47 minutes online on our phones (2017). Every moment of that we are producing data which becomes a product. The consumer becomes the product to enhance marketing campaigns and to pinpoint a susceptible audience to target. All of the Cambridge Analytica controversy, Facebook targeting political campaigns at specific users…

Fake news is about persuasion. What to agree with. Variations of an ad will appeal to different people because of their personal bias. Star vs Circle? You are more likely to listen to one than the other.

What makes a fact?

  • Access to the source
  • Expertise
    • Analysis + Interpretation of information -> Explanation to be understood

Challenges to “facts” today?

  • Readability for money
  • Comment and opinion pieces are rising in number
  • Appeal to emotion rather than figures/numbers
  • The incentive is to be read as with “click-bait” to generate income
  • The monopoly of ownership
  • False balance
    • Example: the BBC disproportionately giving voices in debate
    • Lack of diversity in voices writing/speaking
  • Disenfranchisement and lack of knowledge

Technological Solutions?

Annotation Software
  • This uses layers to allow multiple experts to make notes at different levels, separately from the editors but in real time.
  • Collaborators can see what is going on and there is transparency

This can happen before or after publication.

The Credibility Coalition want to create standards (a toolset of questions to give ratings) the appropriateness and accuracy of online content.

Credibility scoring articles are now being published for the public to view, for instance regarding climate change.

Content Assessment

Community-driven start-ups are looking at algorithms, aiming to create higher quality content. These can find whether it is true or false but experts are needed to label content. Classification then improves the algorithms in the “grey areas”.

Nuance is the tricky point!

Problems

  • Data literacy is poor
  • Data claims to know you better than you know yourself, matching you to content…
    • What you can do: understand what processes look like and where your data is going.

Students can’t evaluate sources or different viewpoints constructively – more empathy is needed

Steps Going Forwards

Make the community bias visible.

  • We choose our media. Choose more than one.
  • Diversify perspectives. Have more than one viewpoint.
  • Democratise expertise

New technology allows gutter journalism which we have always had to be “published” wider than ever but accessibility and agency do fight fake news.

Why should businesses care?

  • Reputations are at stake when advertising platforms are discredited.
  • When disenfranchisement grows, the consumers change.

Why should you care?

  • You deserve better than fake news!

Moderator: 
David Bull, Vice President for Business, Economics, Political Science & Law publishing at Springer Nature, the world renowned academic publisher

Panelists:
Michael Parker, Membership Editor at The Conversation UK
Jennifer PybusLecturer in Digital Culture and Society at KCL and contributing author to the new book “Trump Media War
Lusiné Mehrabyan, Community Manager at FactMata
Heather Staines, Director, Partnerships at Hypothes.is

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Administrator in the Hot Seat: Cheryl O’garro

  • Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner party?

Meg Cabot has been one of my favourite authors since my teens, so she is non-negotiable. Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Jane Austen because their ear for wit, satire and the human condition is just fantastic. I think if the three of them got together, the resulting literary effort would  be a masterpiece. I’m just there for the great company!

  • If you could have written any book that exists now, which would it be?

How long do you have?! Off the top of my head, I would have to say either Harry Potter (for obvious reasons) or Northern Lights (the first of the His Dark Materials trilogy.) Both of those for me really draw you into their world and allow your imagination to really flow in a way that isn’t often possible outside of fantasy novels. I first read them when I was 7 and 10 respectively, and I would count both among my favourite books.

  • What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

The examiner telling me that my Masters’ thesis on the psycho-social benefits of hyper-engagement (a term I coined describing the adoption of arts consumption as a personality trait) had a strong and original voice and warranted elaboration. Who am I to decline that kind of professional and academic validation?! That is closely followed by my graduation ceremony in January.

  • If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

Right now it would have to be Quicksilver- the ability to move at great speed would be so useful for travelling and completing tasks. I’d still have my 24 hours in the day, but could fit in so much more! 

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Atwood Tate Does The SYP Pub Quiz Night

What happens when you mix four publishing professionals, good burgers and a pub quiz with pictures? A good night out, apparently!

Not far near London Bridge lies The Miller – a pub with excellent burgers and an interesting range of cider (including Frozen Strawberry Slush!)

Last week, four of the best and brightest that Atwood Tate have to offer went along for the annual SYP Pub Quiz in support of the Book Trade Charity (BTBS).

We called ourselves Atwood Great (modest!) and went head to head with  7 other teams of people starting out in the publishing industry.

What we thought would be a straight forward question and answer session turned into a feat of anagrams and guessing opening and closing lines!  We did worryingly well on the children’s literature round, but the most team bonding happened on the ‘Say What You See’ – how many can you get from the picture below?

say what you see

Unfortunately, we had to bow out early, but we had tons of fun! Thank you to the lovely team at the SYP for organising.

Want to get involved in an SYP event?

Society of Young Publishers (SYP) have a great events schedule and job board for the publishing industry. We recommend becoming a member!  Some of our team will be at How to Succeed with Your Job Search so make sure to have your questions ready!  

SYP logo

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Team Update: Welcome to the team Cheryl!

We are very pleased to welcome Cheryl O’garro as our new administrator! Cheryl has joined our London office where she supports the Permanent team across all roles and sectors.

Cheryl O’garro

A self-confessed arts nerd, Cheryl graduated from City, University of London with a Masters’ degree in Culture, Policy and Management and has spent much of her career running events and writing deeply fabulous content.  Before joining Atwood Tate, Cheryl worked for a hospitality recruitment agency and completed communications related internships. Her favourite play is a tie between Sheridan’s The School for Scandal or Macbeth, and her go-to feel-good film is the Princess Diaries. Cheryl joined Atwood Tate in May 2018 and, when she is not plugged into her wireless headphones, Cheryl supports the Permanent Team across B2B, Editorial, Publicity, STM and senior appointments.

cherylogarro@atwoodtate.co.uk

0203 574 4420

See our Meet the Team page for more information and contact details for all our consultants.

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