Goodly Labs Collaboration
In order to answer questions as to what constitutes authenticity, what makes a news item appear authentic, and what are the ways in which authenticity can be evaluated - we are collaborating with Goodly Labs to create a coding schema to analyze the news.
To operationalize authenticity, we have identified ten different characteristics/features: spontaneity, affective intensity, self-disclosure, transgression of conventions, branding and endorsement, community building, personal accountability as evidence, rhetorical style, rebel/alternative media, and audience engagement. Some of these concepts have several meanings and definitions, and there is some overlap between them. We identified these features with plain text in mind (no pictures, no images, no layouts). These categories act as operational patterns of revelation and relation that ground authenticity and its recognition. Although framed as “unscripted”, often these strategies for identification are carefully constructed in order to establish relationships of trust or intimacy between the writer and the audience.
At this stage, the project is currently applying the codebook to a training sample to test its reliability. The sample texts relate to three intersecting themes: environment, Canadian politics, and indigenous rights. As research progresses, we will report on our findings.