Research

Magazines Canada conducts vital research on the magazine industry’s changing landscape and reader preferences. They also champion the fight against disinformation by promoting trusted sources and high-quality journalism, safeguarding the integrity of information in the digital age.

The Age of Disinformation

Magazines Canada is proud to present the “The Age of Disinformation,” a series of resources for members that identifies successful tools, strategies and international best practices to combat disinformation and misinformation, equipping the Canadian magazine industry to promote its trusted-ness to audiences and advertisers across the country.

We know that your digital ecosystem is populated with thousands of pieces of content each day, and it’s up to you as magazine editors, journalists and publishers to seek the truth of a statement, an image or a source and find evidence to back it up.

To that end, Magazines Canada engaged international experts to write Hotsheets, offering practical tools, tips and insight; present webinars and case studies with solid takeaways, analysis on algorithms and filter bubbles, and a lively panel discussion at Word On The Street Toronto in September 2019. The purpose is to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to identify and debunk fake news, to verify information and written and visual content, and to give you practical strategies to combat disinformation.

Through The Age of Disinformation resource series, we aim to help build your critical thinking skills and preparedness against online disinformation and other online harms, to promote digital literacy, to help critically assess online information, understand how algorithms work and when they might impact a user’s experience, recognize how and when malicious actors exploit online platforms, and acquire skills to avoid being susceptible to online manipulation.

View these resources to learn more, and to gain these tools and skills.

WEBINARS

In September 2019, Magazines Canada hosted a one-hour webinar called How Do They Know That? Verifying Claims in the Age of Fake News, presented by Jim Handman, Executive Director of the Science Media Centre of Canada. Handman’s webinar focused on the importance of skepticism and critical thinking as a strategy to assess information online, and he provided tips and tools for publishers to navigate the online environment.

Watch the video here:

In October 2019, Magazines Canada hosted a one-hour webinar called Sorting Truth From Fiction with Social Media Tools, presented by the team at Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media, about their suite of tools that magazine professionals can use to monitor or track disinformation campaigns and detect fake accounts. Watch the video here:

Whitepaper

Magazines Canada commissioned a whitepaper to explore the disinformation threats confronting Canadian magazines and the opportunities to insulate the industry. The resulting whitepaper, You Cannot Afford to Ignore the Disinformation Crisis: A Call to Action for Canadian Magazines, discusses how disinformation is manifesting in Canada, responses to it and opportunities for magazines to respond creatively. The whitepaper offers six key recommendations for action including a focus on strengthening research and verification capabilities, improving trust in magazine brands and collaborating in the fight back. The lead author is award-winning Australian journalist Alice Matthews and secondary author is Dr. Julie Posetti, Global Director of Research for the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ) based in Oxford. Read the whitepaper here.

Case Studies

Looking to international best practices, Magazines Canada commissioned the case study Verificado and the 2018 Mexican Election on the collaborative fact-checking initiative that saw 90 newsrooms come together to fight viral fake news in the run up to Mexico’s 2018 elections. Verificado 2018 combatted disinformation with accurate, fact-checked, high-quality journalism. Written by Tom Trewinnard, the project lead for Verificado 2018, the case study provides lessons and insight from this project that could apply to or be used by magazine media publishers. Read the case study here.

The second case study that Magazines Canada commissioned was Faktisk: Norway’s Fact-Checking Cooperative on the fact-checking initiative, Faktisk.no from Norway. This website was launched as a collaborative effort between media rivals Dagbladet, one of Norway’s largest newspapers, VG and NRK, to fight fake news. Together, the media organizations joined together to fact-check disinformation and misinformation. Written by Faktisk editor Kristoffer Egeberg, the case study highlights the process of collaboration between rivals, the extensive and successful work Faktask did, the societal change the fact-checking work enabled, and offers insight and advice for those looking to emulate Faktisk’s model. Read the case study here.

Hotsheets

Workflow & The New Normal

We’ve all been waiting for the pandemic to end so we can return to normal. For many small magazines, however, there is no going back. The future is all remote work all of the time. And that’s a good thing! To produce multi-channel content in a publishing...

Read More

What to Keep in Mind When Creating Sponsored Content

It’s vital for magazine publishers to proactively determine their sponsored content offerings and guidelines to comply with local and platform standards, as well as maintain reader and advertiser satisfaction. Lisa Murphy provides examples, dos and don'ts, and...

Read More

Word On The Street Panel

Magazines Canada presented “Digital Magazines in the Age of Disinformation,” on September 22, 2019, at Word On The Street Toronto, with four leading digital magazine publishers who discussed their perspectives on news and entertainment in the age of disinformation. An all-star panel from across Canada included Rehana Begg, editor of Canadianmanufacturing.com at Annex Business Media; Drew Brown, editor of The Newfoundland and Labrador Independent; Camille Dundas, editor-in-chief of ByBlacks.com, Canada’s Black Canadian online magazine; and Andrew Yates, managing editor of news at HuffPost Canada. The discussion touched on how digital publishers navigate the demands of immediacy and responsibility, how they identify what’s authentic and what’s misinformation or disinformation, strategies they use to assess credibility of sources and content, among other talking points. The panel was moderated by leading fake news expert, Craig Silverman, media editor at Buzzfeed.

We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada.