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Letter sent on Feb 8

First Draft launches CrossCheck to fight misinformation

On Monday, we were at the News Impact Summit in Paris, which was the perfect location to launch CrossCheck, our collaborative journalism verification project.

CrossCheck aims to help the public make sense of what and who to trust in the news, with an initial focus on the French presidential election. We launched the project with 17 news organizations from across France that will work together to find and verify content. Similar to Electionland, selected students will receive training to use a combination of pioneering newsroom technologies and advanced search techniques.

CrossCheck editors from participating newsrooms will then summarize and add context to each claim, creating a live feed of shareable report cards on the CrossCheck website. This feed will be overseen by the Agence-France Presse.

The article about the launch (in English | En français) has complete details of the organizations that are involved and the tools and technology that will be used to power the platform. We plan to launch the CrossCheck website on Feb. 27. For project updates, be sure to follow @crosscheck on Twitter.


First Draft at news:rewired

First Draft’s Claire Wardle gave the keynote at the news:rewired conference on Wednesday about best practices for tackling the misinformation ecosystem. Here’s a reading list of the articles she referenced in the talk. First Draft’s Jenni Sargent spoke on a panel about the challenges of live video for newsgathering.


Collaborative Project

In January, we announced our partnership with ProPublica on Documenting Hate. The project is another coalition of news organizations, student journalists and volunteers that will create a database of hate crimes in the US. First Draft will do the training in techniques for verifying reports.


First Draft Q&A

Samuel Laurent

First Draft News spoke with Samuel Laurent, deputy editor of Le Monde and head of Les Décodeurs, about Décodex and the automated fact-checking tool 
Content Check. “Imagine there’s a politician talking about unemployment,” he said. “This tool will check what the politician is saying, find recent figures on unemployment and bring them back to the reader, live, in real-time.” 
In English | En français


Two Must Reads

The Massacre That Wasn’t, and a Turning Point for “Fake News”: “Social media and journalistic scrutiny aligned with comedy to right a wrong pretty definitively. That it happened so organically showed that false ‘facts’ might not always be the stubborn things so many people fear they are becoming.” Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

Three Ways Digital Researchers Can Shed Light on the Information Politics of the “Post-truth” Era: Researcher Liliana Bounegru outlines examples of approaches being developed that hope to assist digital researchers, data journalists, civil society groups and others looking to increase public understanding of these phenomena.


What are you seeing? What are you reading?

We’re in the process of creating new video resources with tips for how to spot misinformation online. Please share your “red flags” with us.

If you encounter interesting articles or research that pertains to the misinformation ecosystem — particularly news that is not in the English language and pertains to a global or regional audiences — let us know on Medium.

For our Arabic, French, German and Spanish audiences, we have a monthly newsletter in each language. You can sign up here.

All the best, 
The First Draft Team