Robin Good: If you are a journalist, a reporter, or a professional news curator, you MUST read this.
Excerpted from the guide: “This how-to features advice from a panel of experts on the key considerations, questions and tools journalists should have in mind when carrying out verification of content that surfaces via social media, be it a news tip, an image, a piece of audio or video.
The process covers three main stages: monitoring of social networks and the online community before news breaks, checking the content when it comes into play and subsequently reporting that content once verified. The comprehensive advice outlined in this how-to guide offers practical steps, specific questions and cross-checks journalists can make at each stage, as well as online tools to support them.”
…to summarise, the top tips from our panel of experts on an effective verification process from start to finish are:
Monitor across platforms (including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Soundcloud, AudioBoo, Bambuser)
Spot and understand trends (using tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Trendsmap to create lists and identify trending topics)
Build a network of contacts before the story breaks and limit the stress
Use online tools to examine evolution of images (including TinEye, Google Images and WolframAlfra)
Verifying sources – speak to them and cross reference answers with social data
Verifying sources – look at social media history across platforms
Use Whois tools to verify websites
Check for photoshopping or repetition in images
Apply the Too Good To Be True test
Harness online discussion boards and experts (use sites like Snope to spot urban myths and common hoaxes early on)
Question edited footage
How urgent is it – could more steps be taken to verify before you publish?
Crowdsourcing – ‘be judicious’ about how you send out unconfirmed information
Consider any permissions and crediting which may be necessary
Clearly communicate the level of verification a story has been given
Made a mistake or new information come to light? Issue a clear and networked correction
Invaluable. Very informative. Useful. 9/10
See on www.journalism.co.uk