New ATSC 3.0 technology on TV stations -- so-called NextGen TV-- promises lots, in the way of advanced advertising, interactive opportunity and streaming programming.
Now some reports suggest ATSC 3.0 might also be a tool to identify fake news and distinguish it from the real stuff. Few details have been disclosed, but this would be an incredible marketing draw for avid TV news consumers -- especially those who also consume news content from social media.
At the outset, all this seems like some instructional tool for consumers to use to make their own decisions.
For example, could there be a high-tech approach to communicating an on-screen video/display tag touting the veracity of a piece of content?
TV Watch has worried that consumers don’t have much time to comb through all the vagaries of newsgathering and distribution. Veteran news/media reporters can spend a lot of time doing this -- and they get paid for it.
Perhaps interactive screens can appear via a special remote with a "verify news content" button. That would be easier than linking to an online digital fact-checking site.
It gets a bit more complicated. Some news could be half-correct, mostly correct, or totally a fabrication. Many fact-checking sites already offer different degrees of real versus fake news content.
Now, if you are a local TV advertiser on a local TV station that runs news programming, does this make a difference to your media buy?
And while much of this would seem to be an attack specifically on social-media platforms -- which, according to analysts, distribute lots of fake news -- what if local TV stations have their own problems with questionable news content?
Errors in judgment, quick content decisions and outright mistakes can happen anywhere.