A definitive guide to verifying digital content


A guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage will be available – free of charge – in January.  This resource for journalists and aid providers will provide tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines on how to deal with user-generated content during emergencies.

The handbook, authored by leading journalists, provides actionable advice to facilitate disaster preparedness in newsrooms, and best practices on how to verify and use information, photos and videos provided by the crowd.

Content will include:

  • Introduction: When Emergency News Breaks

    Chapter Authors: Craig Silverman, Poynter/Spundge and Rina Tsubaki, European Journalism Centre
    An overview of the challenge of verifying information in crisis situations, and the new opportunity for professionals and the public to come together to surface and verify credible information.

  • Verification Fundamentals: Rules to Live By

    Chapter Author: Steve Buttry, Digital First Media
    New tools and technologies abound, but tried and tested advice and practices of verification never go out of style. This is a look at the discipline of verification, and the questions at its core.

  • Verifying User-Generated Content

    Chapter Lead: Claire Wardle, Storyful
    A guide to the overall practices and emerging standards for verifying user-generated content from social networks and other sources.

  • Verifying Images

    Chapter Lead: Trushar Barot, BBC News
    A guide to the best practices and tools for verifying user-generated images. From reverse image searches to EXIF readers, and tracking down sources, this covers what you need to know, and do.

  • Verifying Video

    Chapter Lead: Malachy Browne, Storyful
    A guide to the best practices and tools for verifying user-generated video. How you can use Google Maps, YouTube, and other services and techniques to determine the authenticity of video.

  • Putting the Crowd to Work

    Chapter Authors: Mathew Ingram, GigaOm and Patrick Meier, Qatar Computing Research Institute
    An overview of proven techniques for crowdsourcing verification, and a look at how technology can assist with crowdsourced verification.

  • Preparing for Disaster Coverage at Newsrooms

    Chapter Lead: Sarah Knight, Regional Content Director, ABC Local Radio
    How newsrooms and other organizations can better prepare in order to quickly verify content and deliver trusted information in emergency situations.

  • Creating a Verification Process and Checklists

    Chapter Lead: Craig Silverman
    This chapter collects the core advice and best practices for a final guide to creating a repeatable, trusted process to ensure newsrooms and aid organizations know what to do when emergency news breaks.

The handbook will be released Jan. 28.  Register at this link to be notified when the book is available for free download.

In addition: A free webinar, titled "How to Keep Misinformation from Spreading," will be held Thursday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. (EST).  An archived version will be available for those who can't join the webinar at that time.  Learn more and register.

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