On December 3, at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference in New York, Microsoft News CVP Darren Laybourn talked about the organization’s approach to delivering high-quality trusted news to nearly half a billion readers. Publishing trustworthy stories and offering diverse and credible perspectives on the events of our day is critical in today’s climate of mistrust in the media.
In an interview with Business Insider‘s Henry Blodgett and NewsGuard‘s Gordon Crovitz, Laybourn discussed the challenges associated with misleading news as well as solutions that rely too heavily on algorithms, and stressed the ultimate need for both strong technology and human intelligence in news curation and delivery.
While some might consider it ‘old school,’ Laybourn explained that to do it right, you need a blend of art and science. Microsoft News combines partnerships with the most respected publishers around the globe with specially designed algorithms and machine learning processes to ingest and validate more than 170,000 pieces of content a day. Then, 800 experienced Microsoft News editors in 50 locations around the world curate this content into compelling multi-perspective news experiences. Today Microsoft News partners with more than 4,500 publications worldwide and has paid over $700 million in revenue to these publishers in the last 4 years in support of quality journalism.
Gordon Crovitz, from NewsGuard, described the methods by which his team of journalists evaluates news outlets for “trust and accountability” providing a “nutrition label” of sorts, so that readers can understand more about the outlets of news they consume. NewsGuard strives to take some of the uncertainty out of the equation for readers and give them tools to determine if a particular source follows established journalistic practices or not.
Laybourn and Crovitz agree, it will take a healthy mix of both human intelligence and powerful technology to ensure readers find the highest quality digital news possible.