Challenge: How might we surface journalistic quality from the web in a scalable way, by automatically collecting the right "signals"?
Frederic Filloux used his time at the fellowship to find a way to surface journalistic quality from the web. The goal was twofold. One was to correlate the production costs of ambitious journalism to its economic value (currently, an expensive investigative piece carries exactly the same advertising price tag than the neighboring news wrap or listicle). Two, the system must be able to tackle the fake news problem (the United States had been the ground zero for fake news in 2016 while other democracies suffered from the same ailment the following year). To address that, Frederic isolated about 30 “signals” of quality, most of them to be collected automatically. The whole idea was to build a scalable system capable of handling large sets of information, leading to a reliable scoring system.
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Frederic Filloux is a journalist and an entrepreneur who has deep experience in both the editorial and business sides of news. He is editor of Monday Note, a newsletter and blog covering the transformation of digital news media and the strategies of technology companies. Monday Note today reaches up to 100,000 viewers a week. It is republished by Quartz. Filloux was managing director for digital operations at the Groupe Les Echos, France’s leading source of business news, until leaving in 2015 to focus on Monday Note. He continues to be a consultant for the company, including as its representative in the Digital News Initiative, a working group of Google and leading European publishers focused on improving the sustainability of the news ecosystem. Earlier in his career, Filloux was the founding editor of 20 Minutes, a free daily newspaper that quickly grew to become the country’s most read paper. Following that success, he was asked to join the international business development team of Schibsted, a major European media company. Filloux began his career as a business reporter.