TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) today announced it is expanding VERIFY to help combat disinformation, and has named Jonathan Forsythe managing editor responsible for leading VERIFY’s editorial growth across all platforms.
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TEGNA names Jonathan Forsythe managing editor, VERIFY. (Photo: Business Wire)
Since its creation in 2015, TEGNA stations’ VERIFY reporting has fought misinformation and disinformation and helped viewers and users distinguish between true and false information, with traffic to VERIFY content on stations’ websites increasing 423 percent in 2020 (source: Google Analytics). The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by viewers, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need verification or clarification and provides trustworthy, transparent information to prove or disprove them. VERIFY’s sources are always provided, allowing the audience to see exactly how the VERIFY team determines the veracity of any claims.
In 2021, VERIFY will grow into a standalone national brand through the launch of dedicated digital products and, after the success of VERIFY’s Snapchat launch in 2020, expand its franchise to other non-TEGNA social media platforms. TEGNA stations will continue to broaden their locally produced VERIFY content and segments.
To help lead these efforts, TEGNA has appointed Jonathan Forsythe as managing editor of VERIFY. In this role, he will oversee the daily content production of VERIFY, including segments for television, web articles, social content and other products. He is also responsible for recruiting and managing VERIFY’s team of journalists, producers and audience-engagement specialists as well as working with TEGNA stations to source story ideas and co-produce content.
"Jonathan’s demonstrated passion for innovative storytelling and fighting disinformation, along with his deep journalism and leadership experience, make him a natural fit to lead the expansion of our VERIFY brand," said Adam Ostrow, chief digital officer, TEGNA. "The VERIFY team believes journalists, in addition to seeking truth, must also stop the spread of disinformation, and we look forward to continuing to reach new audiences with our trusted, valuable content in 2021 and beyond."
Forsythe has 20 years of professional journalism experience and joins TEGNA from McClatchy, where he was senior director of video and audio, leading the video and audio strategy for the 30 McClatchy newsrooms. During his time there, he helped launch McClatchy Studios, a multiplatform initiative to reach new audiences with local, character-driven documentary storytelling with national appeal. Prior to McClatchy, Forsythe spent 14 years at The Washington Post, including four years as deputy editor, video.
Forsythe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He and his wife Kelly live in Frederick, Maryland with their two sons.
TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. With 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets, TEGNA is the largest owner of top 4 network affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching approximately 39 percent of all television households nationwide. TEGNA also owns leading multicast networks True Crime Network and Quest. TEGNA Marketing Solutions (TMS) offers innovative solutions to help businesses reach consumers across television, digital and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.
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