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Kristy Roschke, Michael Simeone, Shawn Walker
Michael Simeone: This is Misinfo weekly, a somewhat weekly program about misinformation in our time. Misinfo weekly is made by the unit for Data Science and Analytics at Arizona State University Library.
This week we present an interview with Dr. Kristy Roschke, a professor of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. We talk about journalistic practices and how they're transforming. spotting fake news, and a number of other topics pertaining to being informed in our time. The interview was recorded August 14, 2020.
Today we have a guest. Shawn and I will be interviewing Dr. Kristy Roschke, who is the managing director of the News Co-lab at the Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She has a Ph.D in Journalism. And she teaches classes on media literacy and information literacy. Kristy, thank you for joining us. How are you?
Kristy Roschke: I'm well, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited about this.
Michael Simeone: Yeah, we were hoping to talk with you today about some of your work in media literacy and engagement with media.
Kristy Roschke: Yeah, for sure. So, the News Co-lab, sort of broadly speaking, our mission is to advance digital media literacy. And what we see are sort of three key constituencies. So that's through the field of Journalism, and helping news organizations make people's media literacy more of a priority, through education to sort of the obvious track, and then through technology. So, we see, you know, large technology platforms, specifically social media platforms, needing to play a big role in helping people better understand all of this information that we're trying to deal with.
Michael Simeone: How would you define media literacy? I think that's a term that people encounter frequently. But for you, what's the force of that term media literacy.
Kristy Roschke: So, the sort of standard definition in the field is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act on media messages in all forms. And so, there's sort of a lot of these verbs that we do when we're interacting with information. And so, I tend to follow that broad definition, but my work most specifically relates to media and digital forms.
So, I do a lot of work with social media and other forms of online news and other types of information. And, you know, to your point earlier, I've been focusing a lot on misinformation as part of that, although media literacy, as a field is much broader than that, and gets into issues of representation, and advertising and persuasion, which all is, you know, part of what I do. But because the quality of information varies so greatly in the digital realm. That's where I tend to focus my efforts and also why sort of with the News Co-lab, we make the distinction of digital media literacy, because we're, we're usually talking about information that people receive in a digital mode.
Michael Simeone: We don't have to go through a comprehensive list of what the differences are, but what are some things that stick out to you as being very particular to digital media literacy and to digital media these days?
Kristy Roschke: Yeah, so you know, once upon a time we engaged with media, even mass media in a very sort of unidirectional way. A newspaper is printed, the audience reads it, and call it a day television reporter reports the news, you watch it, call it a day. And clearly that's not the world that most of us live in anymore.
We're engaging in multiple direction conversations. And individuals can help amplify news or not news, in some cases, even have a greater ability to do that, then news organizations do. So, the whole nature of how information is created, actually, that haven't even talked about that. The fact that we all can create information and share it on our phones at a moment's notice, you know. So, the way that information is created, distributed shared, in a digital world, is different from the analog world. And there are, you know, just a variety of skills and competencies required in that realm, that, you know, maybe their foundations live in the physical world, but it's just, it's a very different experience. Engaging with information online, and part of what I do is look at the fact that we are actually never really formally trained to engage with media in that realm. We just sort of have all learned it by doing. Which means that we've got a lot of sort of, like homegrown habits at this point, some better than others.
Michael Simeone: Okay, so there's been a technology change and an expectations and practices change.
Kristy Roschke: Absolutely. And, you know, even the specific content has changed in some ways in terms of, you know, affordances of technology like hyperlinking. You know, or starting in one, one area and moving to another and sort of seamlessly moving across information instead of like looking at a single newspaper page and reading from start to finish. It's a very different experience where it pulls at our attention in different ways as well. So that plays a role too.
Shawn Walker: So, let me ask a little bit here. So, do you see media literacy, as something that's separate or a part of sort of information literacy? Because I think back to my days in high school so long ago, where I was taught, you know, you look at the source, does it look professional? Are there multiple sources? And then you're good to go?
Kristy Roschke That's a great question. And there's a, you know, a lot of sort of academic debate about this, because information literacy sort of grows out of library science. And your point, Shawn, is, the high school that I used to teach at, we would take students to the library to learn those skills. You know it was even, like, separate from like the English class that I taught. But to answer your question, I Kristy tend to see those things as blurring into really kind of being about the same thing.
Although I recognize that not all information under the umbrella of information literacy is media or mass media in the sense because information literacy would cover a lot of you know, scholarly texts and that sort of thing as well. But I think the argument that I make, especially with professors and instructors who teach in different disciplines, is that for students, all information kind of looks and feels the same. You know, if you're assigning a student to write an academic paper, and you want them to use, you know, peer reviewed sources, the chances of them starting in the library database are pretty small, they're probably going to start with a Google search.
This is a constant source of frustration for professors, where it's like, students are Googling information. And maybe they're finding news articles that they want to use in academic papers. And so, the struggle is like, how are these sources of information different? And why does it matter? And I kind of contend that we shouldn't be studying these things separately, we should be studying them together. Because our habits basically live in Google, at this point, to live in search engines, as opposed to specific discipline databases and that sort of thing.
Michael Simeone: It also made me think of how, you know, we can't even limit it to Google itself, a lot of observations that I've made is that folks will go to Google the search engine, to look for sources, but they won't go to Google Scholar, the directory of articles. And so even though those are both Google products, even though those are both not locked up in any kind of library, and when I say locked up, I just mean, there's no paywall to get to Google Scholar, but more often than not, it is the search engine, not necessarily the article index, that really seems to be a front end for people.
Kristy Roschke: Oh, definitely. And I mean, for younger folks, too. It's not even Google. Increasingly, it's YouTube or other social platforms, you know, maybe it's TikTok to look for how to videos or something.
But yeah, I mean, I think we have this way that we want people to source information. And we want people to evaluate information, which is some of those steps that Shawn mentioned before learning in school. But the truth is, that's not what we actually do in our lives. And so, my perspective is like, how can we take our actual habits and refine them in a way that gets to the Google Scholar page, without forcing this like different path that you might only use when the librarian is there telling you to do that?
Shawn Walker: So, I think it might be helpful, really briefly to make a distinction for those that don't know. So, we're talking about these two different things of maybe articles that journalists might produce and journalistic outlets might produce versus peer reviewed articles. And so those are articles produced by scholars and scientists that have then been reviewed by experts in the field and made it through that process, and sort of been accepted and published. versus - can you talk a little bit more about how the process that journalists might go through is different than the process that academics might go through in peer review.
Kristie Roschke: So, you know, a lot of journalistic stories start with some sort of academic paper or some, you know, research finding some new piece of information, new discovery. And so there, there are definitely lots of cases where news articles are based on some of that scholarly information. But also, news covers breaking things like car crashes and protests and things that are happening in real time in the world.
So, the editorial process of journalism is certainly much faster than a peer review process. And the analogy to peer review in a newsroom would be the editing process. So, a reporter is going to do some research, have some interviews, collect all of the information as it were, and craft a story out of it. And then that story will be edited by at least one editor at times, multiple editors and maybe even if we're lucky, a copy editor, although at this point, copy editors are fewer and far between in newsrooms, which is something we could talk about as well. And so, once it's gone through that editing process, and that will entail a fact check for specific facts and then things like you know, style and grammar and spelling and clarity. Once it goes through that editing process, it's published.
But, you know, the news, the turnaround, of a typical news story is a day at most, maybe even less than a day, unless we're talking about, you know, a piece of investigative journalism or a longer form feature. So, it happens very fast, which can in part explain why stories are constantly being updated as facts change.
Shawn Walker: So, I'll talk a little bit about this process of sourcing and maybe fact checking. I know, that's probably a big question that the two things might be different. But can you talk a little about the process that journalists would go through, or maybe students that are going through the Cronkite program would go through to understand how to fact check and how to integrate that in with their sourcing?
Kristy Roschke: Sure. So, a lot of journalism starts with a press release really, or some sort of announcement, something that tips off someone that something has happened. And so, a journalist will have an idea whether it's, again, born out of some document that exists or something that they've seen happen. Or heard about, if this is not like a breaking news story. And the story gets pitched, usually in some sort of morning meeting to editors. And once they've determined that, yes, there's news value to this story, which sort of loosely means is this going to have an impact? Are people going to care about this? Is there a so what, for this for our readers. A reporter will then go off and begin the fact gathering process?
I mean, part of that fact gathering process is fact checking, right? So. Journalists will either already have sources in mind, if this is a story that involves official sources, say government sources or you know, like city officials or something. They may already have a list of people that they know they need to go to, to get that official story. And then they will interview, you know, people on the street as they're called. So other people otherwise involved in the story, to gather more information. So, details, you know, the interview process can serve a couple of different functions, it can fill in the gaps about a particular event. It can also provide, you know, nuance and perspective and opinion from folks that are not the journalist.
And so, the journalist does, you know, the best job they can compiling all of the information to support whatever this story is, and then writes the story in a way that kind of emphasizes the most important facts first, and then runs down into the more, you know, gets into more details as the story goes on.
Michael Simeone: So, it sounds like there's a while there's not multiple gateways, where in facts are checked, there's a set of practices and then kind of checkpoints where the concept is okayed. The approach is okayed, the methodology has been trained, and kind of enforced mutually by an organization and its commitments. And that's how we get kind of quality control in journalism. I asked this because, you know, it seems like some of this is where the rubber meets the road for disambiguating reliable sources and unreliable sources.
Kristy Roschke: Yeah, I think you've said it well, and you've kind of used some scientific terms to describe it. So it is this process and that's something I think a journalist in the news business does a really bad job about articulating to its audience is that there is an established process, as well as professional codes of ethics that are taught in journalism school that are certainly adhered to credible newsrooms that cover things like accuracy, credibility, diversity of sources, what news values are we going to seek out and so you know, a newsroom that chases sort of sensationalism for the sake of getting clicks does not have the same set of ethical standards as a newsroom that places value on impact to its community.
And you know, having gone to journalism school and studied journalism for many years, and seen thousands of journalism students go through the Cronkite school, I can say wholeheartedly that we espouse ethical behaviors. And we really work hard to instill those values in our students and our students are earnest and want to do right by their audiences by their communities. You know, that doesn't always happen in the field. And journalism is a far from perfect industry, but it is the place where most people come from. And so that can be a little frustrating as a defender of journalism. But I think part of what is a problem is that those values are not articulated regularly. They're just understood or assumed on the part of the news organization. And we've gotten to this point where because of all of the fraught conversation around media, and I mean, this is decades old, it's not like it's new now. They're just all these new avenues to explore when it comes to real news, fake news, misinformation. The news business wants to believe that we as people all believe that the news business is good, inherently good. You know, you see that in like New York Times ad campaigns about the facts. But the problem is that many people, you know, a majority of people don't see the news business as inherently good.
Michael Simeone: That's interesting. So, it feels like if I, Google, Hunter Biden and Ukraine, and a number of different news articles pop up on Google, and I click on any number of them, some of them might be from outlets that I recognize, some of them aren't. If I'm reading that story, what I'm looking for is demonstration of some kind of commitment to process and ethics are there, how does that look on the page? Once I call up an article and start looking around?
Kristy Roschke: Well, and that's part of the problem in the online world is that it can look pretty convincing and still not be that, right? So, there's a couple of, it's hard. I mean, I just like, we'll just start by saying, it's really hard sometimes to look at an article, particularly if it comes from a news organization that you've never heard of before, and make an aesthetic judgment of that argument. And I mean, what I mean by that is not only just looking at what the page looks like, once upon a time, that was sort of a dead giveaway. Oh, this looks like a fake website. It probably was. Well, fake websites look the same as real websites now.
Michael Simeone: Yeah, they look good, now.
Kristy Roschke: Yeah. In some cases, sadly, they look better than, you know, small news organizations websites. But I also mean, you know, an aesthetic marker is skimming a story and looking for quotes looking for the things that I just said you should look for. I mean, you can fake those things very easily. And so, there's safety in numbers. If a story is reported across a wide variety of news organizations, it might be differently reported, in some ways, subtle, in some ways, not so subtle, but at least you can be assured that this news event did take place, you know.
And I, I did just google Hunter Biden, Ukraine, because you said that, and I wanted to see what would come up. And I mean, but I'm looking right now. And the top hits, it got two, from Fox News, one from the New York Post, one from the Washington Post from The Hill. So, you know, what I would probably do in this situation is, is pick a couple of those, and compare them against each other. Because there's gonna be differences in the way that Fox news reports this story than Washington Post, but there will also be similarities. The quotes should be the same, the basic parameters of the story should be the same.
Michael Simeone: Yeah. So in some ways, it almost sounds like if I'm going to go out hiking, and I don't know the difference between a map from one organization or one federal agency, and I just look at one map, I wouldn't just trust, some random trail that gets drawn on that map, I would probably want four or five maps from four or five different sources before I commit some time to walking down that trail or going exploring in that direction.
Kristy Roschke: Yeah, for sure. And the hard part, and I mean, I like that example. But of course, an obvious difference to that is that reading a news articles are very quick. And in this environment, especially it's usually just a scan. And then in even worse, it's a scan of a headline or scan of a headline plus a little bit like a social media is for teaser text. It's not really. we're not really talking about the whole story. So, people aren't going to typically commit to that due diligence for a headline, which makes our jobs even harder, because we're just fighting for people's attention in a way that they're making these knee jerk reactions based off of a headline. But we're teaching media literacy, as read this whole 700-word story and evaluate every source inside of it that those two things don't jive. Right.
Michael Simeone: Right, then everyone glances at their phone. And the difference between a headline and a notification is pretty small. Yeah. Okay.
Shawn Walker: I mean, it also sounds like a fairly exhausting process. I kind of think of in hiking, we have those. Well, apparently, Michael, you're a different hiker than I am, because I don't ever get five maps when I go hiking.
Michael Simeone: Oh, but I get lost.
Shawn Walker: Despite the five maps, but you know, we have some frames of reference and on a map of, well, if I'm going hiking in northern Arizona, and this map doesn't kind of fit in this Northern Arizona area, then it could be kind of obvious that this map might not be the right map for me. But if I think for like another example, maybe, if I can go back to Michael and I our favorite children's TV show, Paw Patrol. We did an episode about this a few weeks ago.
Michael Simeone: We have the number one rated podcast on Paw Patrol apparently.
Shawn Walker: We might be the only podcast on Paw Patrol
Kristy Roschke: I really doubt that and I will tell you that I have a couple of friends in which I have a very long Twitter DM going and patrol features prominently in that DM thread. So, I'm going, I haven't, I will admit to that I have not listened to the Paw Patrol episode yet, but I will listen and I will share earnestly with my fellow Paw Patrol fans.
Shawn Walker: I mean, we can pause right now if you need to. And we can come back after you've listened to the episode.
But the point of bringing up Paw Patrol, besides Chase the police dog, is that when we trace that case back, what we found was there was an initial New York Times article that took some of those tweets in response to a tweet from the Paw Patrol official account that was in support of Black Lives Matter. There were just a handful of tweets that responded to that saying sort of defund the police or in support of that. But then the New York Times wrote an article saying that we should really think about those voices and what that really means and how the show Paw Patrol sort of displays the police. But that turned into an article, then on the western journal and a couple other farther right outlets.
Michael Simeone: Yes, I'm talking head segments. Yeah.
Shawn Walker: And all of a sudden, there was this emotional, visceral reaction within those communities, because these handful of articles were circulated hundreds of thousands of times, just within this tight community of more conservative groups. And then you have grandmothers and grandfathers and parents saying, like, I love to watch Paw Patrol with my grandchildren. And so, they read these headlines.
Michael Simeone: Please don’t cancel it.
Shawn Walker: So, don't euthanize Paw Patrol, I think was my favorite phrase around that.
So, in that case, there's this visceral, emotional connection to this information. So, you see Paw Patrol, my kids like patrol my grandchildren like Paw Patrol, your podcast hosts like Paw Patrol. So, then you just, you have this emotional reaction, and then you kind of want to share that information. Or you might then buy into your sort of emotional response. So how do journalists handle this? Or and how should maybe people think about these issues of this emotional attachment? Or maybe someone might say something about Trump or against Trump, depending upon how you feel? You're like, yeah, I totally, you know, that that fits with my beliefs. So, what do we do with that, as both professionals and as, as consumers of the information.
Kristy Roschke: So, you know, we have a 24 seven news cycle. And ever since cable news became a thing, journalists have tried to fill that hole. And before digital and social media was really just, you know, TV, journalism, other cable news networks that were desperately trying to fill this hole. And there's just not that much information that is interesting to people to fill that hole. And so that hole starts to be filled with a lot of commentary, and a lot of just junk that's not necessary. And it's print publications. And when I say print, I mean, you know, those news organizations formerly known as newspapers, which may not only be digital, but are, you know, text based.
As print news, print news organizations are also trying to feed this hole because of social media. It opens the situation up to writing about things or covering things that just never needed to be covered. And in the case of a breaking news event, it means covering that news event from the second that it happened, even if you don't even have the first clue of what's gone on. Right? So, let's let's think about the explosion in Lebanon last week. I think it was just last week. You know, from the moment that takes place. There’re social media videos that were uploaded to Facebook and Twitter and other places right away. And then, so then the news organizations all around the world feel obligated to begin reporting on it at that moment. And it becomes this constant stream of reporting, even though there's no way to know anything that's going on for some amount of time.
So, I think this contributes to the way that things like the story you just described about Paw Patrol can get blown so out of proportion, and just become this ridiculous thing. But that gets people really, really riled up. There are no limits to how much information you can publish. And when I say you, I'm talking about news organizations, but I'm also talking about, you know, you and me.
So, I wish like my most ardent wish for news organizations is that they would just stop that madness and, you know, take a slower approach to things and recognize that they're not the only news outlet reporting on something, you know. So, if I'm the local NBC affiliate, I'm thinking, Oh, I got to be first to this, but so is the local ABC affiliate, and local CBS affiliate, and they're all trying to be first and they're all putting their own coverage out. And what no one stops to consider is that as a news consumer, I'm seeing all of that. I'm seeing the three attempts by the three local news affiliates to cover the story plus, everyone else that's trying to cover the story. So, I'm now awash in 170,000 items about this one news event.
And that collective abundance of information is, just it's just destroying us and it's destroying them. I wish, you know, I mean, I think in some ways news organizations aren't pursuing clicks quite as obsessively as they were maybe five, six years, 10 years ago, but it still is about eyeballs and for many of them because of for revenue reasons. And so, I just don't see them stopping. And they just no one ever stopped to think about this collective impact of you know, having the same story appear 80 million times.
These articles, whether they're about beloved Paw Patrol. I think about when met Mitt Romney threatened to defund Big Bird. It seems like a similar story at that time. Is like don't take away my Big Bird. These stories are designed to get a rise out of people, and we are never not going to turn our attention toward those things that get arise out of us just how we operate as humans. And again, those are some of the skills that I teach as part of media literacy. Is like how to take a step back, and definitely how to not share that stuff. Because if you are one of those people that shared that Paw Patrol story, I mean, come on, come on, there's more important things you should be giving your attention to.
Michael Simeone: One thing I'm hearing in some of your description about the saturation of news. And the pace of news is that uncertainty is characteristic of news reporting. Just like it is characteristic, in many ways of scientific evidence-based procedures. And so too much news can sometimes give us the illusion of certainty. And we feel upset or betrayed, when sometimes there's a fact wrong or something's not completely accounted for, when in fact, that's kind of natural. And there's no such thing as instantly appearing true information.
Kristy Roschke: Absolutely. I mean, people have always been intolerant of mistakes in in a newspaper. But the intolerance of mistakes, by news organizations, I think has grown exponentially. Even as maybe that assessment is, is less and less fair when you think about how much information a news organization is pumping out. And also, the fact that they have a newsroom, that's probably 0th the size 1/10th at it was, you know, 20 years ago.
Shawn Walker: So then, I mean, first, you know, you're talking about this intense coverage, right? We have our local television stations might cover a news story, or national news is covering that same news story. And then of course, as a consumer, when we are also are being bombarded with the headlines from alerts on our phones. And a lot of times they don't agree, one might say this thing, one might say this, the facts are slightly different. So, what happens when they disagree or what happens when it's a legitimate news organization, so not a misinformation organization? What happens whenever they make a mistake, or the information they have is updated? It wasn't a mistake. Now we just have a clarification, what happens?
Kristy Roschke: Journalism is constantly being updated. News pieces are, like you said, they're sort of like a journey, not a destination. And so, they're regularly being updated, particularly in digital form. And some organizations are more transparent about those updates than others, I think practices are becoming more standardized in terms of corrections, and being transparent about corrections, in a way that, you know, once upon a time in a newspaper, if there was a mistake, it would run maybe in the next day's newspaper, but it would be at the bottom of page two totally out of context of the original story.
So at least in a digital world, we have the ability to make even in line corrections, right so that you can see right in context, what has been updated to a story. So maybe, maybe there was a press conference about a breaking news event. And you know, the Chief of Police said something right after it happened. But after more investigation, we learned that that's not true. So clearly, you're going to want to update that story.
That doesn't make the first story fake, it was the best available information at the time. So, updating stories is an important part of the journalistic process. Limitations to updating or correcting news stories is that there's plenty of research that's been done to show that the number of people that will see a story, in its original form is exponentially greater than the number of people who will see an updated story.
So, if you're looking to find information about this, you know, this news event, I have this imaginary news event I just mentioned, a lot of people might click on the story that has the incorrect quote from the chief of police, far fewer people will see the corrected story. And so, then we've just got a lot of people moving about their lives with an incorrect impression about what happened and potentially sharing that incorrect information with others and it's really hard to update that memory for that person just because of the way that we're not inclined to go back to a story after we've already seen it once.
Shawn Walker: So, I guess unless this is some ongoing breaking news story, by the next day, or sometimes the next hour, we've all moved on to the next story. Or they sort of current political drama, versus what happened yesterday or a couple hours ago?
Kristy Roschke: Correct. And depending on how good the news organization is about transparently and methodically sharing those updates, you know, some news organizations will be very good about, you know, putting an update tag or, timestamping information as it unfolds. And so, for the viewer reader, it's very easy to see what's new, when they go back to a story, if they're still interested, you may want to check it out again, you can see all that's new, very easily.
But other places, and this is particularly difficult to do with broadcast, you know, you can't really go back and you can't go back and change the evening broadcast from the night before. And so, the broadcast really struggles with how to update stories when they need to be corrected.
But one of the things we're working on in the News Co-lab is we're developing or we've developed, we have it's in beta form now a software tool, it's open source, where news organizations can right now at work, so that integrates with Twitter's API to see all of the people who have shared a story on Twitter. And you can sort that list of people by who has like large followings. And so, if a news organization has a story, that's experienced a material update, or it's had a significant correction, the software tool called ‘Correct’ allows the news organization to place that updated story right into the Twitter feed of people who shared the original story and personalize a note that might say something along the lines of like, "Hey, Shawn, thanks for sharing this story. This is the latest information as of two o'clock today." And just you know, puts it as a reply right in that person's feed. You can even make this suggestion like would be grateful if you shared this with your followers.
So that that people are directly fed that updated information when the news organization knows that they engaged with the first story. So, we've been doing some limited testing of this with the Kansas City Star. And it's been really interesting to see how people have reacted on the whole, it's been quite positive. People appreciate the direct interaction, and they appreciate the effort of the news organization to keep them updated.
Shawn Walker: So, do you think as a result of this, this might change the relationship that sort of readers and news outlets have to maybe have a better relationship?
Kristy Roschke: We're hoping and we were hoping a couple of things, we're hoping this will help news organizations change their own relationship with corrections. I'm sure, it doesn't surprise you to know that reporters don't love it when they have to have a correction issued on their stories. You know, nobody likes to have their mistakes put out there for everyone to see. But it's really important.
And because of the rapidly changing nature of news, like it's just going to happen. And so, if we can normalize the corrections behavior, people have come to expect that newspapers are going to make errors and they're mad about it. But if we can normalize the process for correcting them, and make people part of that process, and directly connect with them in a way that says, you know, look, we understand that this was a mistake, or maybe even wasn't a mistake, it's just now we have different information than we had before. The hope is that that will improve the relationship between the reader and the news organization, and also just generally help standardize the corrections process across the industry.
Michael Simeone: Speaking kind of ethically and in terms of ideals and principles. Why does the stand in distinction? Or why is this preferable to say deleting things? Because on social media, that's kind of what you do. Or when I say what you do, that’s the observed practices, you put out something that you regret, and you delete the tweet. And then if it's really bad, you delete your account. So, what does, what does that do compare to corrections? And so, I just because I feel like a lot of times, if the default setting for a lot of people is the practice of delete the stuff that you don't want, or delete the stuff that's wrong, or, you know, delete the stuff that you just want to forget about? Why correct instead?
Kristy Roschke: That's a great question. And I think there's two parts to this. So, the first part is the story itself. You know, journalism touts itself as the first draft of history. And deleting a story is deleting history.
So if news organizations got into the practice of regularly deleting stories that they had reported, it sets a very dangerous precedent that you know, they could just sweep under the rug anything that they've done wrong or anything that they later think, you know, was created out of poor judgment or even, you know, succumb to pressure from publishers or advertisers or other external influences, to just get rid of stories for any number of reasons, right? You see that this could be down a very bad path.
Correcting a story so that the reader can see the evolution of the story is really the only way that you can preserve the integrity of the reporting process. I think. From a social media perspective, which is slightly different. So that story that's published and lives wherever it lives with the news organization needs to always exist, even if it's been modified via a correction or an update. But the social that goes out around that story, I mean, I think that's a slightly different story. And this is something that Shawn and I have talked about a lot. And your point is well taken that, you know, there is a, whether it's out of like personal embarrassment or out of the fear that if a, an incorrect tweet stays out there it can continue to be shared and amplified and continue to misinform people. I think the practice of deleting a tweet that has wrong information in it and sharing the right information by a news organization like that's a different story.
I think we've come to see in a lot of cases, news organizations will screenshot the bad tweet, and then share the screenshot with an explanation. We deleted this tweet because of this reason. Here's a link to our updated story that explains further to stop the tweet. I mean, this would be true of Facebook, too. I'm just using Twitter as an example, kind of stop the bad tweet in its tracks. So, there are different practices and you know, one of the things we hope to come out of our ‘Correct Project’ is to help write some suggested protocols for both aspects of this. right? How to be transparent about corrections within the story itself, and best practices for handling corrections on social media.
Michael Simeone: Yeah, so that's very interesting, that one two punch that you mentioned, where you just kind of you still keep that tweet up there for people to see it for reference, but you effectively unplug it from the network by deleting it and then showing only just a static image of it.
Kristy Roschke: Exactly.
Michael Simeone: Yeah, okay.
Shawn Walker: So, to take the social media example a little further and based on some of the conversations we've had. So then, sometimes journalists use social media as a source. And so, we have a set of norms in journalism around corrections, which are different than sort of the norms in social media, where we often delete as a form of correction. So how does that impact journalists use of social media as a source or evidence for a story?
Kristy Roschke: It's such a good question and a hard nut to crack. And, and one that I don't think journalists have even begun to - these organizations have very short sight when it comes to archiving their material. So, you know, we've all gotten, we're all pretty sloppy with how we archive our digital lives.
You know, just a quick aside anecdote, I found an old iPod. Do you remember what an iPod is? I found an old iPod in a desk drawer that a student had given me like 10 years ago, and I plugged it into my computer. And it still works when it's plugged in. And there's songs on it and everything. And I was like, what is this relic from the past? But I cannot figure out how to get those songs off the iPad. No, it's on an iPad, it's an iPod. can't figure out how to get the songs from my iPod back onto my computer. And so now I just have all these songs that I remember that I liked 10 years ago, but the only way I can listen to them is on this iPod, and I don't want to do that. So, I just have just stuff strewn around everywhere.
And I feel like that's how digital news operations work as well. It's like a story gets published, and it's published. And it lives in a place until you change servers or until you change content management systems, or until it gets bought by somebody else, and folds into somebody else. And then where do all those stories go? And the answer is different, I think for every single news organization out there. So, we just have really bad as an industry, I think, standards for preservation of our digital artifacts. And that certainly applies to social media as well, because even though journalism has standardized the use of social media, both as an advertising tool for their own stories and also as a brand builder for their journalists, you know. News organizations rely on social media for a number of things, I still don't think they have taken that content, they don't consider that content part of their organization's archive. And that includes social that gets put into their stories. And I just, it's a fascinating topic to me.
Shawn Walker: Well, and we're not even in here, we're not even talking about 10 years. So, if we can think practically. if we use social media data as a source, so for example, say President Trump tweets something, and then a story is kind of built around that tweet or a series of tweets, and then that tweet gets deleted three days later. Now there's this big gap in the middle of the story. So then how do we, how do we know that that really happened? Or does that degrade the legitimacy of the story? Because there's this big tweet does not exist box in the middle of the story?
Kristy Roschke: Yes, to answer your question, it absolutely does degrade the credibility of the story. And I think if you were to ask any journalist that question as directly as you just asked it to me, they would have the same answer. And then their brand, their faces would probably be like, Huh, you know, like, I had never thought of that.
This is another thing that that, you know, you may not think of not being in journalism is that, you know, reporters don't go back and read their stories after they're published. They write many, many stories a day. So, it's not like, once a story is up on their site, they're not likely to return to it unless there's been a correction. But they're not likely to probably know if a tweet was deleted in their stories, because a lot of times, they're taking tweets from what you know, what we call, you know, people on the street. So, they're just random. Random tweets are not necessarily like official tweets or anything. So, it's not like that journalist is following that person on Twitter to see that they've deleted a tweet or whatever.
So, you know, it's not like anyone's going back unless they have to, to revisit an old story. So, the trail of like dead tweets and dead links, right. So, there's, like old news stories are littered with dead links, I guess it just hasn't come risen to that level of concern, because there isn't a lot of looking back.
Shawn Walker: But it's also seems like something that could become high overhead, just like in and we've talked about, sort of the information literacy tips, our first episode, we went through sort of eight tips to recognize fake news.
And at first, you know, these all seem really simple. But then you realize, as you said, at the beginning of the episode, I mean, it's a full-time job to try to follow all of these steps for every single piece of news that you see, especially when multiple outlets are producing multiple stories at the same time. It's just sort of exhausting, and makes you kind of want to run away screaming, and just there's no truth, you know, kind of, and then go watch some episodes of X Files or something. <laugh> If anyone remembers what X Files is, maybe I'm dating myself here.
Kristy Roschke: So, it's important to remember that most people do not consume a lot of news. Most people are not interested in news. Most people are not interested in political news. And that's just how it's always been. There's just not a lot of people just don't spend a lot of time with news.
But because there's so much information out there. There's this perception that we're all consuming so much news all the time. And that's not a correct perception, it's really not true. And what probably is closer to the truth is that we all are being bombarded with messages. And we are in very shallow ways we're interacting with information, you know, some of that news, some of that otherwise. But we're not any... We're not spending any more time-consuming news than we did 20 years ago. And most people are not consuming much news at all.
But they do see a headline about Paw Patrol. And I think you said it really well. When you're like, wait, I like Paw Patrol, wait, my son loves Paw Patrol. Wait, you're gonna cancel Paw Patrol. And these ideas come to mind really quick over a picture and a headline, and it's just so easy to make this knee jerk reaction to share that and be like, save Paw Patrol, you know, free Chase. Blue Dogs Lives Matter, you know, like, whatever it is, and just to jump on this, this idea and share it because it's created this, it's you know, it's created this emotional feeling inside of you.
But that's not the same as people consuming too much news. And so, we're just as ill-informed as we ever have been as a as a population. And I think that's really interesting. It's really important to remember and I see this lot with like political news as well, like when you're in Political Journalism, you think everyone cares about it, and you think everyone is following all of these tweets from all these politicians as closely as we are, and they're simply not. So, some of the ways that propagandists and misinformation perpetuators, and even just partisan folks could get people to care about these issues is by pulling out some Paw Patrol reference, because that's going to be the thing that's going to get someone to care.
But also, they're going to care for the five seconds, it took them to get really mad and share that tweet, or share that Facebook post. And it's that behavior that I spend a lot of time trying to convince people to just let go.
Shawn Walker: So, maybe to say in a similar way, that, you know, Michael jump in here with QAnon. One of Michael's favorite topics for the podcast. Is that QAnon uses child trafficking, child sex trafficking as sort of a common narrative trope to engage folks. So, then you see a new story, or sorry, not a news story from QAnon, you see a conspiracy theory from QAnon that saying something about children being harmed, and then boom, now you're emotionally engaged. And all of a sudden, you kind of want this to be true, so that you can do something about it rather than, you know, going through and determining whether or not this is correct or incorrect.
Kristy Roschke: Absolutely, that's a that's an excellent example.
Michael Simeone: Yeah. And hit the brakes on me here. If this sounds too much, like a very irresponsible armchair theory, but just like, you know…
Kristy Roschke: They’re my favorite kind.
Michael Simeone: Right? Well, just like, you know, our sensibility of what a phone is, has radically transformed over the last 20 years. It feels like a whole bunch of different functionalities and practices are all smashed together. But it feels like maybe the same thing is the case for news. In the sense that news used to signal, you would be able to identify names, places and textures and material properties of the news, you could talk about what the news smelled like even because everyone got it from similar materials. But now what news could be or what new stands for, has exploded? That's what I see from my non-expert position in terms of journalism.
Do you see, do you think that part of it goes into a problem of definition about news or an expansion of what people think news is?
Kristy Roschke: I think that's a really great observation. And absolutely, it's true. It is kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier about, you know, how is information literacy different from media literacy? And at one point, it was because the type of content we were talking about was different. And the way that you would go about accessing said content was different. But to my mind, it's not really all that different anymore. I mean, yes, there are differences. And if you really drill down into it, you'll find the difference between an academic journal and a news story, but to the casual observer, all information kind of is, is sum zero.
And I think that that's true of news as well, you know, there's even a subset of media literacy called news literacy. And my personal opinion about that, that subset is just completely unnecessary for exactly the reason you just said. Because what even is news and news literacy, folks will say that they're teaching the principles of journalism that we were kind of talking about earlier. And I completely get that and think that that's a valid thing for people to understand. But the reality again, is that may not jive with their practices. And so, if they're not coming across much actual journalism in a day, on the daily, then we need to talk about it as a broader category. And we need to look for characteristics and the type of information we see specifically online, and how to differentiate between those characteristics as opposed to classifying that information too closely, because I mean, it could be news. If it were if it were a quote, taken from a news story or a quote that the President said in a news conference earlier, you know, put on over his picture, like how is that not news that that is a thing that just happened?
So, yes. And, and it's also about, you know, I think part of what news as a business is trying to figure out is, what is the business of news? And what is the product of news, if not, what was once so obviously defined, and that’s hard. I mean, you know, journalism's been in sort of an identity crisis since the late 90s when news started going online, and it's hard.
Shawn Walker: So, what do we lose by this distinction becoming blurry so I can think of, I guess, my parents, I'll try not to date myself, but she My parents or grandparents could remember, you know, Walter Cronkite, the namesake of the Cronkite School of Journalism, say, you know, being this sort of arbitrator of fact and truth. And so now as news organizations have evolved, and then social media allows us to circulate information in different ways the cost of production has gone down. So, with all of these changes, now it's all kind of blurry. So, there's, you know, from what my grandmother might be publishing on Facebook to someone who changes their Twitter profile to now say they're an expert in epidemiology. Like, what do we lose when we no longer have this distinction, or this blurry distinction between, you know, what an organization like a journalistic outlet is versus this emergent, local blog versus next door versus our kind of individual posts? Are we losing anything? Are we gaining anything by this is, when this is happening?
Kristy Roschke: We're losing expertise. In an obvious way, you know, that expertise still exists, and people will still be able to access it and find it. But you know, going back to your Walter Cronkite example, the expertise that he had, and his peers had was obvious and uncontestable. Whether it was actually uncontestable is a different story. But like from the audience perspective, it was uncontestable, that Walter Cronkite and other you know, broadcasters had this expertise and had this knowledge that those of us who are not in journalism did not have access to.
So, the expertise is, is spread out in such a way that you can actually be a non-expert, and pretend you're an expert. And so, it's more difficult to assess out who is an expert and who isn't. There are ways to do that. And, you know, we teach some of those things like me, you just talked about falsifying your Twitter bio, which, of course, is a thing. But I mean, generally speaking, you can look at a Twitter bio and get some data about a person that you could fact check right? Or not even have to fact check. Like I don't think most credible journalists aren't lying about being credible journalists on Twitter. But it does require a little research on the part of people.
And you know, one of the things that I've been thinking about and this came up, the result of a colleague, who I just think is really has a lot of smart things to think about this, that his name's Mike Caulfield, he's at Washington State University Vancouver. But you know, Mike said something in an interview we did with him recently, was just talking about, like, who are we going to give our attention to? And I've just been thinking about that a lot lately, because that's true in news. That's true with science, we're seeing that with COVID. And, you know, who are the people we should be paying attention to, because everyone is saying something. And, and some people are saying things that are accurate. Some people are saying things that aren't, some people are saying things that are just insanely, are just, they're just, they're just asinine. They're just completely wrong. And they're saying them on purpose. And so, it's when everyone can and is saying something, who are we going to pay attention to? And we need to rethink how we assess and assign expertise and credibility to people.
And that's a little bit of a different story. But I think you can do that, at least in part in my corner of the world, you can do that by looking at the things that are being said, and evaluating them. You know, against a checklist of like, can we fact can we check, can we verify this claim here? Can we see that this person works at the place where they say that they work? Can we learn more about this, this publication based on what's written about it online? And then we need to teach these sort of markers of credibility to people. And we need to teach people how expertise comes through consensus. You know, there's a lot of talk about how hard it is to keep up with the scientific advancements and what we know about COVID. And you can't create consensus on the fly. That's like the antithesis of consensus. So, it takes time.
And I think part of what you're doing when you read an article that you see on Google, about Hunter Biden and Ukraine, you see one article, you look for another article to find out what the consensus is. So which quotes are being repeated by multiple outlets in which facts are being repeated by multiple outlets. Even if there's some like weird red herring in there from some publication, you look at the consensus of facts against a couple of news organizations and you say, Okay, this is where I'm going to be comfortable. With the you know, the story, this is what I think the story is. So, I think that's, how I'm thinking about things these days.
Shawn Walker: I mean, that also requires you to have some trust in some of these organizations. So that becomes more difficult if the trust in these organizations is being undermined by public officials, by others in your social groups, then that becomes even more of a mess.
Kristy Roschke: Absolutely, it does. And there's a lot of repairing, we're going to have to do and it's I mean, it looks like we're in crisis mode right now. And so, trying to convince people of this at this point, I think is in some ways, a futile case, because people who have who have lost that trust, I guess, is the word and something like the CDC, for instance. Like, I don't think I can give them a media literacy course right now, that's going to give it back to them. So, I think you have to think a little bit more abstractly in terms of how these organizations operate. But I do think that that's a really, really important thing that I would recommend any educator includes, in their repertoire of things that they teach is what are the consensus organizations in that field? And why are they the authoritative voices? And what limitations do they have? And how did they make decisions? And, and so that we're learning that along with just that they exist?
You know, I don't think I ever learned. I know, I've never learned about the CDC, and all of my schooling like what it is, I just picked that up along the way. So, think of how many people have never heard of the CDC before now. And now we're just expecting them to believe them?
Michael Simeone: Well, yeah, it sounds like, also, there's a lag period for our practices to sell those consequences. So, for instance, I think a lot of times people talk about fake news, and misinformation. That's something where, well, if we just tell them that it's fake, it's okay. And there's all kinds of literature indicating that that's maybe not the case. And that there's a whole bunch of practices and assumptions leading up to the present, that have gotten us to where we are, so that it's not just a simple matter of saying, Oh, it's actually false. So, you don't have to believe it, just go on with your life. And likewise, with the interventions, there isn't a simple, just like it takes a while for any kind of culture or civilization to become susceptible to fake news or misinformation or disinformation. It takes a little while to dig out as well.
Kristy Roschke: Yes, yes, I think that's absolutely true. So people much smarter than me and, and people in fields like Sociology and Psychology, and even you know, Neurology are looking into the different ways and reasons why people believe the information that they do and not don't believe other information and how they come by those types of habits and there are a number of underlying factors that contribute to that. That, you know, that we only are just now beginning to understand, because all of this is happening at the same time, you know, so we've had to, we're trying to update the way we deliver information via different platforms that have different you know, mechanisms and different pros and cons as it were. Different features and bugs, but we're still delivering we're still mostly creating news and all kinds of information, we're still mostly creating it the same way we kind of always have.
And we're trying to fit those publishing standards or those publishing processes into different distribution mechanisms and we're seeing the ways in which that doesn't work in a lot of ways. And, we're seeing the pros and cons of the democratization of publishing platforms and information in that people can. Anyone can upload a protest video and show you know what's happening on the streets which is a very, very valuable thing to have in terms of eyewitness testimony. But then we also can see people creating fake news sites and writing stories that make us think that any number of things they just wild stories, you know, QAnon child trafficking for instance.
So, these are the ends of the extreme here and for those of us who are in the business of providing information in some standardized way that we think is credible and authentic and accurate. And, that's true for both my training as a journalist, but also my training as an academic. And, you know, putting them out there in the delivery mechanisms we have today, something gets lost in translation often. And I think we need to reckon with that a little bit better than we have as well.
Something I was thinking about just the other day was, it's kind of goes back to the corrections thing. So, you know, when all of the all of the research that's been done in COVID, has, has been astounding. And the amount of information that's being learned in a very rapid pace, and the publication of preprints; and the availability of preprints has been really important. And yet, there's all of these, you know, all these problems, potentially, with printing preprints, which is if they get retracted, or they turn out to not be right. They live out in the world, and a lot of lot more people have seen them than they ever would have before. And then that leads to people believing them. And the idea that someone's going to see like, the chance that someone will see a retraction of a preprint scholarly article, who's not in that industry or in that profession. It's like nil. So, I am kind of just rambling on a bit about the blessing and the curse that is these open doors to information.
But it does make it hard for us to sort through it and to know who to give our attention to.
Shawn Walker: I think one of the things you're saying that's really important is that contextualizing information, contextualizing science, our level of certainty, and the fact that facts and science change over time. And that's actually a good thing. And part of the process is really difficult to communicate. And then we add on this other layer of the changing role of journalism in the environment that we consume news articles and information in. That makes it even more confusing as the sort of arbitrators and the gatekeepers are constantly, they are kind of shifting and changing. And so, we're in this awkward in between stage of what does it look like after the transition? Because no one knows what the transition is right now?
Kristy Roschke: Yeah, I really wish that journalists and scientists and anyone who publishes something, you know, with the intent to inform people would be as open about what they don't know. And what they don't know yet, and what they're still learning about, as what they do know. You know, in scholarly research, of course, there's always the implications for future research. But I mean, you know, that usually, you're like, there's lots of things we could learn from here. And it's, we don't really assess like, we don't ever, we don't always really assess sort of, like the limitations of a single study or the limitations of what we're presenting. And journalists do not do that well at all, either. But I think it's because you know, we want to be authoritative. And we want people to believe us, and we want people to think we're credible. So, it's hard to be once credible, but also like, you know, admitting what we don't know.
But the only way we can start to get people to be a little more comfortable with that, that ever changing nature of information, like you just said, Shawn. I think is to be more upfront about that.
Shawn Walker: And it's even more difficult in a situation like COVID-19, where there's a lot that we don't know yet, but folks are desperate for some kind of certainty. You know, do I wipe down my groceries with Lysol? Do I wear a mask? Do I not wear a mask? Am I going to get sick? How dangerous is it? Is this like the flu? So, people have all of these questions. Which as a side note, this is not like the flu, this is much more dangerous. But I don't want to leave that out there.
Kristy Roschke: That’s right. Take it out of context Shawn!
Shawn Walker : Yes, don't quote me. But in that environment, they you know, when we layer COVID-19, on an environment that's in transition, then the issue is that oftentimes these gaps or expressing uncertainty, then becomes an opening for folks to use as for misinformation, so then we have these gaps, so then someone wants certainty. So, then we circulate some misinformation. They're like, Oh, no, let me grab on to that. Because that misinformation might provide me with some certainty about what to do, or what not to do. Or no, this isn't as serious as, people said, it was now you can feel more comfortable and we're certain in you know, going about your life.
Kristy Roschke: Yeah, exactly. And, and that can lend itself to, you know, those like what Joe Donovan and others talk about as data voids is like, if there isn't any information that exists about a subject but some kind of term comes out or some keyword comes out that people want to Google that's a great place for people to start filling in that void with a bunch of crap that sends people down a different path. And there are real organized groups of people and you know more about this. You two know more about this than I do. And a little bit, maybe more in your wealth than mine. But in terms of the way that networks, you know, concerted networks can mobilize around t these terms, or these ideas, or the lack of idea to fill in ideas that serve a purpose or a specific agenda, or just serve to just, you know, sew utter confusion.
So, I read this article today, that was published by MeDan on Xiaomi, narrow about mid-information. And, you know, I'm not like real enthusiastic about adding another definition to the whole misinformation landscape. So I'm not sure I'm going to start using mid information in my daily, you know, in my daily use, but I think what she's talking about is what you were saying before, what we were just talking about, which is like the, the absence of concrete information, whether it's it continues to unfold, or we just don't know all the facts yet, we're in the middle.
So, like, right now we're sort of we're living through COVID, our personal experiences are also varied. You know, if we've not been personally impacted, we might not think the threat is so great. And then there's all this conflicting information. That it's very difficult to know what to think. And we're kind of in this middle place. And so, this article that was really interesting, and I'm, I've shared it, I've shared it widely today, because I think it breaks it down quite nicely. But it's just a really uncomfortable place for people to be when they don't have an answer to something.
Shawn Walker: So, in this uncertain environment that we've been discussing, at length, during this podcast, you mentioned that there are certain tools or techniques that members of the public can use to assess information, to become more media literate, sort of border lining information literacy, which is a longer conversation. So, I know that there's an online course available, called Media Active, that you've been a part of curating and creating at ASU. Can you talk a little bit more about that and how people could access it and what benefits that course would provide?
Kristy Roschke: So, my colleagues, and I, at the News Co-lab have been curating information, sort of some of the greatest hits and the most accessible stuff from the classes we teach at ASU to our college students ,and other, other types of work that we do and, other constituencies and created a general course. It's a pretty good overview on, like you said, some tactics and tips and tools for making sense of the information environment. And there's a definite focus on the digital landscape, because we know that we've been talking about for the last little bit that it's different and more complicated, maybe than reading a newspaper or watching TV. And we want to help people be more comfortable.
And, you know, the reason why it's called Media Active is because, you know, the tools that we provide are intended to make people think of their media use as an active process. So rather than just sort of being overrun by information, or just being a consumer of information, we actually do act on information all the time. Whether it's because we can make decisions off of information, or it's because we can read an article and then share it with our Facebook friends, or send a text to someone. We're actually engaging with media regularly. And even creating it when we you know, post a picture of our dog on Instagram, we are being immediate creators.
So, we wanted to make this really generally accessible class and we it was very important that it would be free and reach the largest audience possible. So, it's sort of a, it's designed as a three-part class, you could take it over three weeks, and you can really do it in just a couple hours a week. But it's, but it is a self-paced class. So, if people don't want to take three weeks to take it, they could, you know, consume all the content in an evening if they wanted. So that's kind of why we call it a mini course.
But the goal is to provide people with a little bit more information about how to find credible sources, how to spot misinformation, how to talk to their friends and family about, you know, things that they might be sharing that may not be real, how to use fact checking sites, with the goal of just making people more savvy media users. And, you know, because I don't know if you know this, but we have a presidential election coming up in just a couple of months. And that presidential election is guaranteed to be fraught and full of misinformation around any number of topics.
And so, we felt like this was a very important time to try to give people, try to steer people in good directions for credible sources, especially at the local level, where they can find information about candidates and ballot initiatives and how to vote by mail for instance, and then more generally, just how to find credible information that impacts their daily lives. We receive funding from Facebook Journalism Projects to create this project and allow it to be available for free. And so that support has been helpful in making this project happen. And we're teaching it right now to our first cohort. And we'll be offering it again, beginning September 13. We're offering the course to ASU online, and all you need is an email address to sign up. And so, we're really looking forward to having another cohort joining us in September.
Michael Simeone: And it really sounds like this is a class that's more about information as part of your lifestyle than information or news as just, you know, a commodity that you pick up off the shelf or that you read whenever you want.
Kristy Roschke: Absolutely, it's certainly something that we've integrated into our daily routine, beginning with those push notifications we get when we wake up in the morning.
So yeah, I love the way you said that it is really about managing information in your life, making it work for you. Help allowing it to help you make good decisions to not become overwhelmed, and you know, just totally fatigued by it all. And also, too, we hope to create some good conversation around it. So, one of the features of the course is a discussion board where participants can talk to one another about the things they're seeing and the struggles that they face and, you know, conversations they're having with their social networks that may or may not be going well. And we think that's a really important piece of it as well.
Michael Simeone: All right, and what a great place to end. Thanks for joining us today, Dr. Kristy Roschke and check out the class we'll have links in the show notes below.
Information and details for her online course can be found at https://cronkite.asu.edu/news-and-events/news/news-colab-america-amplifi...
Shawn Walker: And thanks so much for being our first guest.
Kristie Roschke: Thank you so much for having me. This was really fun. I loved chatting with you.
Michael Simeone: For questions or comments, use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. And to check out more about what we're doing, try library.asu.edu/data