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Accountability Journalism During the Emergence of COVID-19: Evaluation of Transparency in Official Fact-Checking Platforms

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Marketing and Smart Technologies

Abstract

The emergence of COVID-19 has permeated the field of communication producing a silent crisis related to the production and dissemination of news. In this context, the platforms for the verification of facts and data, also called fact-checking, have been constituted as a solution to the misinformation generated by the pandemic, deriving a halo of transparency and veracity that is called into question in this research. These platforms have been evaluated by the first specific objective based on six dimensions: acquisition, information, verification, presentation, interaction and dissemination, and are subsequently examined according to their link to the news about coronavirus. To achieve these objectives, 72 fact-checking platforms supported by the International Fact-Checking Network were analysed. In these platforms, 936 data were obtained, driven by the indicators of each dimension, which showed an increasing trend in acquisition (88%), information (91%), verification (85%), presentation (77%) and dissemination (92%), but with limitations regarding the interaction (47%) of the verified information that moves them away from the transversal notion of digital interfaces. Likewise, concerning the situation produced by COVID-19, the lack of a different civic co-responsibility agreement, beyond the one used for the coverage of other news, is noted at a general level. In short, the following situation is presented for future research: fact-checking, entertainment in exchange for donations or democratic commitment?

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Correspondence to Angel Torres-Toukoumidis .

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Torres-Toukoumidis, A., Lagares-Díez, N., Barredo-Ibáñez, D. (2021). Accountability Journalism During the Emergence of COVID-19: Evaluation of Transparency in Official Fact-Checking Platforms. In: Rocha, Á., Reis, J.L., Peter, M.K., Cayolla, R., Loureiro, S., Bogdanović, Z. (eds) Marketing and Smart Technologies. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 205. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-33-4183-8_44

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