Acceleration of time information and factchecking: what does the media have to say about it?

New York, NY, USA, April 22, 2019

The emergence of new media and the evolution of legacy media led to new operating modes: imperatives of immediacy, transparency and reactivity, permanent need of images …

Did the communicators take stock of the profound changes that have affected the media, new forms of information dissemination? Should they reinvent their PR strategies? For their part, what do journalists expect from communicators?

A Cercle Dircom took place on March 20, organized by Social Media Club in partnership with Entreprises & Médias with the support of Wiztopic. The speakers were: Roger Coste, co-founder of Brut, Armelle Le Goff, managing editor of 20 minutes, Céline Pigalle, managing editor of BMF TV, and Nicolas Pellet, co-founder and editor of MAD (FIGARO).

How does media live the acceleration of time information?

“I always made the choice of working in hot news media. My personal credo is that acceleration isn’t created by the news channels: it is the technical means available that created it”, says Céline Pigalle; managing editor of BFM TV. For her, the reason of the TV channel success is “to have embraced the possibility of giving priority to live TV, which made a unique proposal that didn’t exist in the media space. Live tv gives us an extra liberty of tone”

Without ties, this is what Brut could give with its journalist Rémy Buisine who does very long live on Facebook. “Brut is the second global production platform for millennials” declared Roger Coste. “We produce about 40 new contents per day, which are adaptable for all countries and translatable in every language”, he continues. The strategy of the media born on Facebook and Twitter is international: “We want to grow in more than 50 countries. We want to disrupt the information, with a modern and innovative narration, on a market that wouldn’t be by the traditional media”. But he doesn’t want his media to be the opposite of the traditional media:

“Brut isn’t the competitor of BFM TV, it is a supplement. Our development is a geographic one”, he reassures.

The media, which just launch a website and an app, wants to innovate on the advertising field using a format they call “engaging ad”. “If the brand has no commitment, if the brand doesn’t evolve, then we won’t agree to do it”, warns Roger Coste.

For Armelle Le Goff, managing editor of 20 Minutes, there is an acceleration of time information but also an acceleration of journalists’ work. Regarding the work between agencies, brands and media, “what can go wrong, is often the lack of knowledge about the media to which the communicators address themselves.” warns Armelle Le Goff.

“The must is to know the journalists, to know who does what. Companies must be more specific on their approach of the media: contact and angle personalization are essential” tops Armelle Le Goff, who sends a message to the brands: “We just launch “pris pour cible” which talk about cyberbullying. If a brand wants to engage itself about this subject, we could envision something interesting.”

Nicolas Pellet presents the original offer of MAD, a new 100% video social media: “MAD was created at the behest of the Figaro to target the youngsters. We had the conviction that on this thematic the media panorama did not evolved much. Information was extremely challenged but culturally or on a fashion level, nothing has been made. Our format is 100% social, 100% video, 100% vertical. Irony, off-beat humor and a bit of cynicism too.” Regarding advertising, MAD stands out:

“our business model is integrally based on co-creation of contents with brands. We have an advisor role, we were created in the agency Social & stories within the Figaro, used to dialog with brands”, specifies Nicolas Pellet.

How do you check the information?

Céline Pigalle reminds that for her and the BFM TV employees, checking the information, “is part of the job”.

She continues: “We multiply sources, as all journalists. This is the core of everything, our daily work. What has been added today is to fight against people who deliberately create fake news”.

An editorial board such as BFM TV’s must pay attention to all the new formats of fake news that are broadcasted. Céline Pigalle quotes the danger of “deep fakes”: “I saw recently a video of La France insoumise that had staged Emmanuel Macron announcing his resignation, it was disturbing”, she admits. At BFM TV, it is the web team that most often take the responsibility of detecting what is right, what is true, in this media noise. “When Nicolas Dupont Aignan announced that we will sell the Alsace and Lorraine regions, we analyzed this false information” reminds Céline Pigalle.

For its part 20 minutes has a dedicated service. “We have created a fact checking service, “Fake Off”, in partnership with Facebook, announces Armelle Le Goff. Since March 19th, 20 minutes is partner of a new initiative: “FactCheckEU”: nineteen media have teamed up to check the false news related to European elections. Armelle Le Goff clarifies a point on desk journalism: “On the contrary, we have dedicated journalists, with different temporalities. The hot, the not too hot, and the rest, but we recreated services”.

Even if it is an all image and social medium, the verification of the information isn’t left behind at Brut.

“All of our employees are journalists with press cards,” recalls Roger Coste. “We use a lot of images, and we have to check imperatively the images sourcing. It would be a disaster if we were caught with an unverified source”.

The challenge of protecting brands against fake news and counter influence marketing has never been stronger for communication directors.  

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