Tag : media

The Return of Yellow Journalism: How To Fact Check Fake News


The rise of fake news is on everyone’s minds ever since the US election. After falsified stories leaked all over social media feeds, there’s concern that it could have swayed the election results. While the fingers are still being pointed, it’s important that you have the right tools in order to separate fact from fiction.

A New Era in Yellow Journalism

The fake news trend isn’t anything new; parallels can be drawn to the days of yellow journalism when print publications opted in for flashy headlines, lavish pictures and exaggerated content in favor of well-researched columns. While sensationalized media is widely vilified by journalists, the question of ethics in media keeps resurfacing as the flow of fabricated stories continues to become an issue.

In this new age of yellow journalism, the media landscape shifted from the morning newspaper to instantaneous social media posts where the majority gets their news. Bloggers aren’t held to the same standard that journalists are but they are often the first point of contact for many seeking breaking news. Without the expectation to have journalistic integrity bloggers are free to publish any biased or under researched media that will escalate on social network platforms.

So, how do you separate truth from fiction?

The short answer: dig much deeper.

Even Wikipedia isn’t foolproof; it’s an open source encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Use due diligence and follow these helpful tips to navigate the fake news minefield.

Check The Domain Name


The first step in determining a fake news story is as simple as checking the link of where the article is from. There are more than a handful of faux websites out for your clicks. They can be blatantly obvious such as unconfirmedsources.com but they can also have less discerning names such as civictribune.com.

Always refer to reputable publications to see if that story has run. Globe & Mail, Wall Street Journal and Forbes are examples of credible news sources you can confide in. Don’t be fooled, however, there are some fake news sites that highjack popular outlets and slightly change the name.

MSNBC.com is a trusted news source, yet MSNBC.co has been flagged as a fake news site. That slight difference is easy to miss at a quick glance, which is exactly what they set out to achieve.

Use Fact Checking Websites


Luckily, there are websites who showed initiative and created resources to use when a questionable political story surfaces. The first one can be found at factcheck.org. Any reported articles will end up here, there’s even a section to ask a question regarding a story and they will post the answer. The second source measures the accuracy of a post with a Truth-O-Meter that will tell you the extent of how true a story is. At politifact.com there’s a database of debunked political articles and the Obameter, which is a tally of the promises he kept or broke. Politifact won the Pulitzer Prize for its contribution in the battle against misinformation.

Google Has a Reverse Image Search


Sometimes a story will emerge followed by a photo that gives claim to the information. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Photoshop is an incredibly powerful tool for those who know how to use it. Many photos have been altered to suit a narrative then pushed out into social media where it gets shared and lost in the static.

The solution here is simple. These three simple steps will allow you to verify the credibility of a photo in question:

  • Screenshot the photo
  • Open Google Images in your browser
  • Drag the screenshot into the search field

Google will perform a reverse image search and present the URL’s associated with the picture. From here you can see where the image came from and if it originates from a reputable source.

Download The “FiB” Chrome Browser Extension


When a team of four bright students came together at HackPrinceton, they set out to create an algorithm to combat fake news. Not only did they successfully create the Google Chrome extension called “FiB” but also it only took 36 hours to complete it.

But how does it work?

FiB has a two-pronged approach; first it scans through your Facebook feed and checks status updates, photos and links, and then follows with a Twitter search. Based off the information it assesses whether the content was fabricated or not.

Second, for anyone posting news it does the same verification process but will notify before posting if it’s “Verified” or “Not Verified”. The user can then decide if they want to continue the post.

If there’s one take away from all this, it’s that you need to be objective about everything you read online. The US election set a dangerous precedent setting up a post-truth era but the silver lining here is you have the power to end it by questioning and sharing correct information.

Jennifer Maloney Adab: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur


Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Brix Media Co. Founder and CEO Jennifer Maloney Adab, who we caught up with to find out what inspired her innovative company and what advice she would share with other young professionals…


Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I run Canada’s first PR and influencer marketing agency focused on social innovation.

What was the inspiration for your career route?
Human behaviour has always intrigued me. As a former journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about people and their ideas from all walks of life. I realized early on I had a passion for leveraging media to connect others to meaningful stories and life lessons. This has been the inspiration behind my PR career as well.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
One of the most memorable was organizing a press conference for Deepak Chopra to launch the world’s first Chopra Yoga Centre. Working with him affirmed that personal values and principles don’t need to be separated from business.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I’m about to embark on my most daring venture to date – being a mom, which I think will greatly alter my goals and perspective. In five years I hope I have set an example for my son that you can achieve anything you want in life. The hard, but also fun part is being true to oneself and discovering what that is.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I think it’s a great time to be young and ambitious because there are so many opportunities to connect, collaborate and communicate with like-minded people around the world. My advice would be to take the route that’s right for you over what is popular opinion. To truly become successful, you need to follow your own path.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I sit on the board for two non-profits. One is Raw Beauty Talks, which promotes the mental and physical health of girls and young women. The other is the Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Launchpad, which promotes entrepreneurial thinking in high schools.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Launching Brix Media Co. has been the biggest risk and challenge I’ve undertaken to date. It meant leaving the security of the brand I had spent three years building and trusting in my team and our collective vision to build something new. There were many hurdles in getting it off the ground, but they were all overcome through teamwork and realizing I had an amazing support system to help me on some of the hardest days.

What does the word notable mean to you?
I associate it with “worth paying attention to.” Living in an era of information overload, we increasingly rely on trusted sources to tell us what is worth our time and attention.


Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
We’re spoiled with restaurants in Vancouver so it’s hard to choose one. I recently went to AnnaLena in Kits and it’s at the top of my “must go back” list.

What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Website: Google

Song: One Man Can Change the World by  Big Sean & Kanye West.

Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
@dobbiesandlittlepawrescue – We have an Doberman who came from a shelter. This site makes me want to adopt 20 more.

What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Brazil is one of my favourite countries. All the restaurants have meals made for two people. That tells you something about the warmth of their culture. I really need to make it to Pondicherry in India. There’s an ashram I’m dying to visit there.

What gives you the greatest FOMO?
My husband travels to LA a lot for work and I always think this somehow involves pool and mojito time, which give me FOMO. He assures me this is not the case.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Frozen yogurt or gelato with chocolate, berries and coconut.

What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I wish I spent less on cell phone bills and more on travel.

And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is being happy with the people, places and experiences you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

Vancouver Tech PR & Fashion PR – September

Fashion trends, Vancouver Startup Week, and business growth were key topics of conversation this past month. See how some of our clients tie into these conversations.

Vancouver Fashion PR

Michelle Lane – senior designer and stylist at Clearly.ca shares her top picks for the season on Brazen Woman. For those of us subjecting our eyes to screen glare for long periods of time, blogger Jamie Leigh reviews Clearly’s protective, yet stylish Blue Reflect lenses.

Vancouver Tech PR

Vancouver Startup Week attracted tech fans between September 21 and 25th. The Vancouver Economic Commission hosted #VanStartupCity at the Imperial to support Vancouver’s local startup ecosystem. Watch Sean Elbe on Breakfast Television as he celebrates local tech and recent success stories in the adventure and tech space including ShareShed, RentMoola, and Tinkerine. StartupCity events were also featured on CKNW,  Vancouver Magazine and Business in Vancouver.

US Tech PR

At the European Cancer Congress in Vienna, OncoSec Medical announced positive results from the very first trial to combine merkel cell carcinoma with immunotherapy through its proprietary ImmunoPulse treatment.

Fin Tech PR

In the last week of September, Canadian entrepreneur Hamed Shahbazi was featured on Business News Network. As CEO of  software company TIO Networks, he discusses the company’s rapid growth strategy, how it is competing in the United States, and its thoughts on national fintech players like PayPal.





Child care & financial planning health PR Brix Media Co Vancouver

Vancouver Tech & Lifestyle PR – August

With summer adventures behind us and fall on the horizon, Brix Media’s tech and lifestyle PR clients are focused on delivering solutions for back-to-school, financial planning, and personal health.

Take a look at how some of our PR and influencer marketing clients contributed to conversations in the media this past month.

Fin Tech PR

Canadians wanting to expand their financial portfolios and curious about investing through a robo-advisor have their options explained. Read up on  WealthBar’s expertise on the Huffington Post.

Interested in more? CEO and co-founder, Tea Nicola speaks on Canada’s revamped universal childcare benefit and how it really affects you.

Lifestyle PR

Shopping for fall outfits? The Vancouver Sun lists Dish Performance Denim as THE pair of women’s jeans to shop for when playing with your fall wardrobe.

Biotech PR

Former President Jimmy Carter publicly announced his battle with cancer. Last week he elaborated on his choice of treatment: his own immune system (immunotherapy) with the support of a new drug called Keytruda. In the same arena, OncoSec Medical announced their first patient enrolled in a combination trial to test the safety and effectiveness of Immunopulse, their unique form of immunotherapy with Keytruda – the very same drug President Carter is using.