I mentioned in an earlier post about news chyrons that they could be an effective method of fact-checking. Since the election of Donald Trump, MSNBC has started actively using the lower-third of the screen to fact check the president.
I’m not sure if it is MSNBC’s decidedly liberal slant, or if now that it is being done it is kind of jarring, but I’m not certain the chyron is the best place for fact-checking. It almost seems antagonistic, or mocking, and that shouldn’t be the aim of journalism. Here are a couple more examples:
First of all, I’m not sure why this quote would be pulled out as a chyron other than to point out the obvious irony about Trump’s business ventures. The quote in and of itself is somewhat of a throw-away that could have been said by any president in the last 40 years. It isn’t newsworthy without the fact-check, and even then it still seems more like a taunt. Trump is rallying his base, MSNBC is rallying theirs.
This is something that should be fact-checked, and the assertion by Trump that the FBI director reports to him is newsworthy, but I still think going with the traditional verbiage “Trump claims FBI director reports directly to the president” also gets the message across.
What do you think? Are the chyrons effective for fact-checking or does it come across as antagonistic and less balanced in that placement?