Redefining Journalism in the Digital Age

Coverage of Trump Event
VERIFY fact-checking reporting on Snapchat’s Discover platform.
Near Me lets mobile users see what’s happening in their neighborhood and upload content for stations’ on-air and digital platforms.

In addition to seeking the truth, journalists must also stop the spread of misinformation and disinformation that has become so pervasive with the growth of social media. Since its creation in 2015, TEGNA stations’ VERIFY fact-checking reporting has fought misinformation and disinformation and helped viewers and users distinguish between true and false information, with traffic to VERIFY content on stations’ websites increasing 423 percent in 2020 (source: Google Analytics). The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by viewers, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need verification or clarification and provides trustworthy, transparent information to prove or disprove them. VERIFY’s sources are always provided, allowing the audience to see exactly how the team determines the veracity of any claims.

In August TEGNA launched VERIFY on Snapchat’s Discover platform, reaching a new and younger audience among Snapchat’s 90 million daily active users in North America. VERIFY episodes have received a robust following since launching on Snapchat, with more than 150,000 subscribers and 7 million unique viewers. More than 50 percent of VERIFY’s audience on Snapchat is under the age of 25, broadening TEGNA’s reach with younger news consumers.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, TEGNA scaled its user-generated content (UGC) platform to allow viewers to text questions, photos and video directly to their local TEGNA station, allowing our news teams to solicit feedback and keep audiences better-informed across platforms and devices. More recently, stations are using text message campaigns to ensure viewers are kept fully informed about the COVID-19 vaccines.

TEGNA also launched Near Me, a hyperlocal mobile app feature that allows audience members to share photos and videos and see the latest news in their communities from both local stations and neighbors. This proved especially useful in Minneapolis during the George Floyd protests, as users could see what was happening around them during the protests and upload their own content. It has also been a central part of TEGNA stations’ coverage of hurricanes, wildfires and other major news events taking place in our markets.

These innovations are helping TEGNA to forge closer relationships with our audience and better serve them with relevant information that’s happening in their neighborhoods.

KHOU verifies viewer questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
The VERIFY team looks into common misperceptions and falsehoods about wearing masks during the pandemic.
Near Me allows mobile users to easily upload video and photos and share them with our stations.