Challenge #6: Media Credibility and Its Discontents
Although the digital world has amplified connections and instant sharing of information from countless sources, it has also compromised journalism credibility and broken its business model in equal measure. Traditional news organizations, once considered the bastion of news, the source of reliable, objective, and verified information, today find themselves in troubled water trying to survive in an ever-changing—not to mention polluted—digital infosphere.
The spread of fake news, the lack of proper gatekeepers or filters, online echo chambers created by algorithms, and the inability to discern facts from fiction on social media pose a serious challenge to the credibility of the information we receive online and elsewhere. In this context, the newspaper Delo was looking for ways to rediscover the purpose of journalism and restore its value in the public eye.
The Internet business model does not sustain quality journalism. With precarious funding and shrinking audiences, serious journalism that serves the public good is losing its voice. The challenge for the participants was to find ways to improve the situation in the media industry, to explore options and propose solutions for the real problems that confront all news organizations.
In the information era, digital media have opened the gate to a constant overflow of low-quality information. As a result, traditional newspapers are struggling to convince and appeal to younger generations. The Delo Archive Lab is an open collaborative research platform that uses Delo’s archive to offer new perspectives on current events by positioning them in relation to the past. The results are then made public in a format most relevant to the topic and its conclusions, engaging the audience further.
Maxime Benvenuto (Netherlands) is a design researcher and curator-in-chief at Foundation We Are. He studied at Design Academy Eindhoven, where he specialized in color studies. He founded a studio that deals with research and design projects and focuses on fields related to politics, democracy, law, and journalism.
Petra Matić (Croatia) received a BA in phonetics and Scandinavian studies and is now a master's student in museology and heritage management at the University of Zagreb. She is a humanitarian field coordinator and cultural manager. She is currently working as an archive assistant as part of the Media Museum project and on the project Nikola Tesla – Migrant.
Mateja Mlinarič (Slovenia) graduated from the Faculty of Social Work, where she is currently completing the Master's module on Social Inclusion and Justice in the Field of Handicap, Ethnicity and Gender. She is working at the Gerontological Society of Slovenia and is a program manager at the Kucha Food Hub.
José Pérez (Chile) is part of the collective Arcada Media, founded in 2010 in Santiago. The Arcada collective is an architectural practice that develops competitions, publications, and streaming transmissions. Arcada is currently editing a book of interviews with outstanding architects and artists.
Zuzanna Zgierska (Netherlands) is a graphic design student at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She also has a BA in industrial design from the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She works as a freelance artist and designer, mostly creating videos, installations, and performances.
Jurka Mihelin (Slovenia) is a visual and service designer. She earned a BA in textile and fashion design at the University of Ljubljana. After working as a graphic designer for fifteen years, she expanded her skills in UI/UX and service design by managing projects for the Slovenian boatbuilding company Seascape.
Since 2000, the Bureau d'études (literally, ‘design studio’) of Léonore Bonaccini and Xavier Fourt has been developing a collective work combining art, theory, and research, producing cartographies of contemporary political, social, and economic systems by revealing the invisible and contextualizing apparently separate elements within a greater whole. These visualizations of interests and cooperation re-symbolize the unseen. They have been working to set up a “place of social experimentation” in rural areas, publish the newspaper The Laboratory Planet, and are part of Aliens in Green, an intermedia collective of artists and biologists.
Ali Žerdin has dedicated more than three decades of his life to journalism. Starting at the radio station Radio Študent, where he worked as a journalist and editor from 1986 to 1989, he then spent seventeen years as a journalist and editor at the weekly magazine Mladina. After serving as the editor of Objektiv, the Saturday supplement to the newspaper Dnevnik, from 2006 to 2009, he held the position of editor-in-chief of Dnevnik for a year. Since 2010 he has been the editor of Sobotna priloga, the Saturday supplement of the newspaper Delo. Žerdin earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences in 2012. He is author of several books, his research focuses on social elite networks, and his hobby is collecting old newspapers.
The newspaper Delo was established in 1959, the result of a merger between the newspapers Slovenski poročevalec and Ljudska pravica. Delo is published seven days a week; its Sunday edition, Nedelo, is printed on Saturdays. The most important guideline behind Delo’s editorial policy is credibility. Since its foundation, openness to the world and cosmopolitanism have been its second most important guideline. Although its network of correspondents today is not as wide as it used to be, Delo still has on-the-scene reporters stationed in Berlin, Brussels, Belgrade, Vienna, and New York, as well as a Europe-based specialist covering events in China and Asia. The greatest influence on Delo’s reputation was its editorial stance in the late 1960s, when the newspaper functioned as a reflection of the liberalization of Slovenian society, as well as its editorial stance during Slovenia’s struggle for independence, when Delo ran under the slogan “An Independent Newspaper for an Independent Slovenia.” Delo has the highest print run among the Slovenian quality press. Its regular Tuesday supplement, Ona, is primarily aimed at women, the Friday supplement, Svet kapitala, targets business professionals, and its Saturday supplement, Sobotna priloga, has been Slovenia’s most important opinion platform since 1967. Delo is published by the company Delo, d.o.o.