CBS News Bringing Misinformation Unit to TV With Hiring of EP Melissa Mahtani (Exclusive)

CBS News is planning to bring its CBS News Confirmed unit to TV with the hiring of a new executive producer: Melissa Mahtani.

CBS News Confirmed, launched late last year, is focused on tackling misinformation, including the growing scourge of deepfakes and photos, videos and audio created by generative artificial intelligence. Now, Mahtani will be tasked with figuring out how best to bring its reporting to TV, digital and social platforms. Segments will run on CBS News programs leading up the the 2024 election, and a dedicated streaming show is planned for later this summer.

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“CBS News Confirmed is the right initiative at the right time,” Mahtani said. “We are witnessing an onslaught of misinformation that makes it harder for people to distinguish between what is real and what is not. CBS News Confirmed will empower our viewers to be able to tell fact from fiction, sharing our own process of verification every step of the way.”

Mahtani starts at CBS April 22 and will report to Claudia Milne, senior VP and head of standards and practices for CBS News and Stations. She joins CBS from CNN, where she has been a senior producer.

“Melissa’s depth and breadth of experience across multiple media platforms makes her the perfect person to lead the audience-facing presentation of the work of CBS News Confirmed,” Milne said. “She knows how to produce stories and shows, tell stories and package information to reach the largest audiences on whatever platforms they’re watching or reading. She will be a huge asset to our team.”

CBS News Confirmed was created to tackle a problem that every news organization is facing: How to deal with misinformation and fake content, a problem that is becoming even more troublesome thanks to generative AI tech and the speed and ubiquity of social media. The unit uses investigative journalism, technical skills, data and other tools to filter through content and determine what is real, and what isn’t, and to explain it to viewers.

Earlier this month the division hired Rhona Tarrant as its executive editor.

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