Graham Media Group and WPLG Strengthen Newsrooms in Fight Against Misinformation

Stations to show viewers, readers process behind newsgathering, fact-checking

CHICAGO--()--Graham Media Group and WPLG Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, announce the launch of Verified, a new initiative to combat misinformation campaigns targeting local media.

“Nothing is more important than getting the story right,” said Emily Barr, President and CEO of Graham Media Group. “We are providing timely training and processes to our six newsrooms to help in the fight against misinformation campaigns attacking local news.” 

Graham Media Group and WPLG are partnering with Fathm, a global leader in the fight against misinformation. Fergus Bell, Fathm’s founder and CEO, is working with newsroom leadership to evolve a verification system and to train journalists to identify and stop the spread of misinformation.

"It is fantastic to be working with organizations like Graham Media Group and WPLG who are putting a high priority focus on such an important initiative,” Bell said. “I am looking forward to preparing all of their news teams to fight misinformation in a way that is certain to benefit audiences and contribute to a healthier media ecosystem in 2020."

Graham Media Group & WPLG’s Verified is designed to:

  • Identify manipulated or out-of-context user-generated content
  • Detect fake stories generated for revenue or political motives
  • Expose political ads served algorithmically with little oversight
  • Support transparency in the newsroom
  • Reinforce journalistic ethics
  • Counteract misinformation with incisive reporting and social posts
  • Encourage viewers and users to share questionable content for review by station journalists

Bell led the first round of training at WDIV in Detroit in January and will soon complete newsroom training sessions for WPLG and all Graham Media Group stations.

Misinformation and disinformation campaigns are not limited to national politics. Increasingly, the industry is seeing coordinated campaigns designed to trick local newsrooms into reporting false or misleading stories. While GMG stations work to build defenses for reporting on the 2020 elections, a strong verification system will enhance the company’s newsrooms overall.

“Fact-checking is in the DNA of this company but advancements in technology are disrupting truth. We are committed to providing our communities information that they can trust,” Barr said. 

Graham Media Group, a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC),  operates seven local media hubs - each in a top-70 market and all recognized as news leaders: KPRC–Houston, WDIV–Detroit and WSLS–Roanoke (NBC); KSAT–San Antonio (ABC); WKMG–Orlando (CBS); WJXT–Jacksonville (fully local), and WCWJ–Jacksonville (CW).  Based in Detroit, Graham Digital is a digital media and technology development group widely recognized as a leading industry innovator.  Social News Desk, headquartered in Atlanta, provides its 2500+ worldwide newsroom-customers with a single dashboard to publish, measure, curate and monetize local news content on social platforms.   Website:

WPLG Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company, operates WPLG-TV,, MeTV South Florida and H&I Television Network in South Florida. 


Graham Media Group, Inc.
Catherine Badalamente

Release Summary

Graham Media Group and WPLG launch Verified, a new initiative to combat misinformation campaigns targeting local media.

Social Media Profiles


Graham Media Group, Inc.
Catherine Badalamente