Fake news vs real news: what to do about it

“Trust is more important than truth.”

 According to those who took part in a discussion “Fake News versus Real News at Amec’s Global Summit in Bangkok, this is typically the case in a “fake news” world.

 So what can journalists do about it? We can stop using the term “fake news”; we can ignore surveys which can be biased or tweaked towards certain results; we must always strive to retain balance in a story; we must be careful on social media because much fake news is a result of social media; and we should attribute to a comment to social media, such as“according to” a Twitter account rather than to a particular person”.

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Teaching data journalism in developing countries

Data journalism is a term that is used to refer to the increased role that numerical data has in journalism. It brings together computing, technology, statistics and journalism. It is a relatively new term and has become more important as technology and computing has grown. It was just part of investigative journalism before.

The extent to which data journalism is applied is cultural. But it is not just impacted by what is written but how data and statistics are gathered in the first place. This is what this article explains.


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Can you avoid being scammed?

 Nowadays there are so many scams and it seems some are difficult to avoid. I have been a victim of an e-commerce con, which has gone on for about three years now. Clearly, I’m not the only one as Forbes magazine has outlined (see below). Unfortunately, it was not until I had parted with my money – twice- one for an upgrade, that I finally realised I had been scammed. Duhhh..

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NZ Finance Minister dismisses visitors' tax

New Zealand finance Minister, Steven Joyce, confirmed his reluctance to impose a visitor levy on tourists because visitor numbers may not remain at the current level, he said. He was speaking at a lunch on April 28 2017, hosted by the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce.

 He noted that tourist numbers in New Zealand were only a small percentage of tourist numbers worldwide - although they might seem big to us.

 However, it was important for the government to invest in infrastructure, to make things happen, he said, particularly in a place like Queenstown given that it is a tourist mecca.

 He also spoke about the need to mobilise private capital and utilise that when necessary.

 At the end of April, Joyce announced that he would be allocating $11 billion over the next four years to infrastructure in the May Budget, up from $4 billion. Some of these projects are already underway such as the Kapiti Expressway and the new City Rail Link (CRL) in Auckland.

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NZ Super Fund among global leader in climate change

Private equity in New Zealand is lead by the country's sovereign wealth fund. The annual SWF conference was held in Auckland last November. Here is a link. IFSWF Conference: where should sovereign wealth funds invest?

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has achieved a AAA rating in its listing of top international asset managers in the most recent Global Climate Index report, and ranks at 15, in its list of top international} asset managers.

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Getting real with Riyadh

I thought this article was very interesting (not that I agreed with all of it) explaining the very complicated relationship between Washington DC and Riyadh. There is always the risk of oversimplifying the relationship but I think this article does a good job of avoiding that trap. It also explains the somewhat fraught relationship between Iran and the Gulf States. Such is the complications of the relationship between the Gulf States and Iran, even my friend (who has always kept his counsel on the subject of Iran) talked about the "mad country next door that may do something at any time". Whether this is true or not, probably doesn't matter as long as people believe it will happen.

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Tradition meets modernity- camel racing

I recently had the opportunity to go to camel racing in Dubai, way out on the Dubai-Al Ain Highway- not far from the Outlet Mall. While I lived in Dubai (for 8.5 years) I had wanted to attend these races but at the time women could not attend, and then there was all the performance about the use of child male jockeys, which, for a time, seemed to stop camel racing altogether- or at least it was never advertised. There was certainly no stadium, as there is now, and visitors weren't encouraged to attend.

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Saudi Arabia Lifts Oil Market

Here are some thoughts about Saudi Arabia's energy policy, and Tesla. 

Saudi Arabia Lifts Oil Market With Support for Renewing Production Agreement

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How tolerant are you?

I gave a talk recently at Toastmasters, in Queenstown, New Zealand, about my experience travelling to the West Bank and my time in Bethlehem. What I found interesting is that even in a place as supposedly “tolerant” as New Zealand, the audience response is still subdued as regards Palestine, and way more “moved” by what happens to and in Israel. Admittedly, I was wearing a hijab or a headscarf.

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Future Proof - A Podcast

Measurement, a capabilities framework, mental health, the CIPR at 70 and #PRfest, are all among the topics discussed on the latest #FuturePRoof podcast.

Sarah Hall and Stephen Waddington  recorded a new edition of the #FuturePRoof podcast this week. Here's what you'll learn.

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Defeating the Islamic State: A war mired in contradictions

This author regularly sends me articles, many of which are very interesting in that they are written from an academic rather than a journalistic perspective. In this case, he writes about the Kurdish plight and the conflict Turkey has dealing with this group, which I think the government hates more than IS. As a consequence, the US is also conflicted. And Saudi Arabia continues to focus on destroying Iran rather than any threat from a Sunni terrorist group, such as IS.

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Trump Russia Dossier Decoded: Yes, There Really Was A Massive Oil Deal

Further investigation into the Trump's link to Russia shows that this connection is not imagination. I was in Dubai when I was working on the proposed Glencore and BHP Billiton transaction. I learned a lot, especially about the involvement of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) in Glencore. Recently, to Putin's pleasure, Glencore and QIA took a 19.5% stake in Russia's Rosneft.  Grant Stern found out the following information.

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NZ Superfund CEO wins Business Achievement Award

It’s good to know that the organisation for New Zealand’s Techweek ‘17, which will run from 6-14 May 2017 is moving ahead. A week of events bringing together bright minds to tackle global issues with local ingenuity. Head to Techweek‘17 to meet like-minded people, discover new opportunities, and learn about the latest and most exciting technologies that are changing the shape of the near future, according to Techweek’s website.

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EU says it's legal to ban women wearing headscarves at work.

The EU decision comes as countries across Europe are grappling with how to accommodate huge numbers of migrants, many from predominantly Muslim countries. AP
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A Japanese ad agency invented an AI Creative Director

Recently, I've been reading about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how we can exploit it in different fields such as education. Therefore, I was very interested when I came across this article that talks about AI and the advertising industry. How uncomfortable would you feel if AI was preferred to a human?

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Iran: making the most of it

Recently I was elected president of Queenstown Travel Club and at the first meet up of the year we learned all about Iran. Here is what the speakers said.

Jon and Robyn Bitchero talked about their experiences in Iran when they spoke at the Queenstown Travel Club, which met on 27 February. They pointed out how different Iran is from the way it is portrayed in the media. Referred too in the ancient world as Persia, it conjures up romance, great food and great living. In contrast, the country Iran often conjures up visions of burqa wearing women (which is often not the case), tyranny and evil. Yet it is the same country.

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Accessing the right information in crisis situations

How accessing the right information in crisis situations can be crucial

In this article Lucia Dore and Melisande Middleton, founder of the Center for Internet & Media Ethics (CIME), discuss how information flows matter in crisis situations, even in small, far away countries like New Zealand.

 During the civil war in Afghanistan (1989-92) Iran opened its borders to refugees but not many people knew about this, cites an Afghan familiar with the situation. “Many people fled to there and sought safe haven and temporary education for their kids. Many didn’t hear about it and stayed and I know many people who lost their loved ones because they didn’t know that Iran had finally opened the border.”

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Trust and warmth matter most

It's interesting that trust and warmth matter more than competence when people first meet you. What does that mean for you?
A Harvard psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you
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Walking the Kepler Track

It's been a week since I last posted on here. Since then I've been on a 60km hike from Te Anau and back again. It's a hike known as the Kepler Track http://www.doc.govt.nz/keplertrack, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. It is a great way to get away from it all, without going on a retreat. No internet, no cellphones-  only freez dri food and lots of walking, with a full pack. 

For me, since my great grandfather was an early explorer around Lake Manapouri and I was born in that part of the world and spent my early years there, the information I found out was even more impactful. Here are some photos.

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Why New Zealand needs a written constitution?

by Lucia Dore

On a road show around New Zealand are Sir Geoffrey Palmer, law professor and former prime minister, and Andrew Butler, a litigator at Russell McVeagh in Wellington, New Zealand. They are promoting their book: “A constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand” and are asking people for their views on the points they have laid down for a otential written constitution.

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