Expanding the Fight for Facts in a Sea of Misinformation

Composite of images from Sorting the real Sandy photos from the fakes by Alexis Madrigal/TheAtlantic

Three years ago I started a website called VerificationJunkie.com as a directory of tools for assessing and verifiying eyewitness media. At that time there was no one place for journalists and the public to learn about best practices for fact checking the flood of pictures and videos emerging from breaking news events around the world.

One year ago Verification Junkie became a founding member of FirstDraftNews.com, a small coalition of organizations offering training and resources for journalists and the public around breaking news and eyewitness media. With support from the Google News Lab we published case studies, hosted workshops and shined a spotlight on the critical issues facing newsrooms and communities who are increasingly relying on social reporting.

Today that coalition is expanding dramatically with new members including leading newsrooms from around the globe and major tech companies like Twitter and Facebook. Together we are joining forces to take action against misinformation and strengthen the ability of people to find trustworthy news and information, especially during breaking news and crisis.

For all the details of what we have planned and who is included in the new First Draft News partner network, see the announcement blog post here:

From the announcement: “Each partner is committed to sharing knowledge, developing policies and devising training in how journalists use the social web to find and report news. This network will also create a feedback loop for representatives from each social media platform to connect with journalists and develop ideas for ways to streamline the verification process, improve the experience of eyewitnesses and increase news literacy amongst social media users.”

Here is the current list of members:

Josh Stearns is Associate Director of the Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund. He’s the founder of VerificationJunkie.com and a founding member of the First Draft Coalition. Follow him on twitter @jcstearns.

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