New Collaboration Focuses on Building Verification Resources for Journalists and Citizens

I’m excited to be joining the First Draft Coalition, which launches today.

The coalition brings together leading organizations and individuals working in verification and eyewitness media to create new tools, resources and trainings for journalists and the public.

Here is a bit more detail from the announcement.

Our founding members, from different organisations and projects, are each dedicated to raising awareness and improving standards around the use of content sourced from the social web. They are BellingcatEyewitness Media HubEmergentMeedanReported.lyStoryful and Verification Junkie. Our aim is to open up the conversation around the use of eyewitness media in news reporting with a strong focus on ethics, verification, copyright and protection, and we want to reach and hear from everyone in the journalism community, including students, lecturers, local reporters and international editors.

The ethics and practices surrounding social media journalism and covering breaking news online are still emerging. As new platforms abound, new forms of eyewitness media emerge, raising novel questions for newsrooms and journalists. In times of crisis our communities are turning to social media for critical and trustworthy information, and increasingly, they want and need ways to assess the validity of what they find there.

The coalition is made up of a mix of companies, nonprofits, academics and individuals who have been working on these issues for years. We believe that we can do more to create a culture of verification and support journalists and communities if we work together and share lessons, tools and techniques openly.

(Visit my directory of verification tools at

For my part, I’m particularly interested in how we can work with journalism schools and other educators to expand access to training for verification and will also be looking specifically at how small and medium-sized local newsrooms are working with verification and user generated content. I’ll also be exploring how community engagement before, during and after breaking news can help newsrooms cover crisis and disasters and equipe communities with tools and training to meet their information needs.

You can read my first two posts for the coalition here:

Initial support for the coalition is being provided by the new Google News Lab, which is also announcing two new, related projects today as well.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s