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Posts Tagged ‘verification’

Is Grasswire, a “Real-Time Newsroom,” a Better Version of Reddit?

GrasswireIt’s no secret that the Internet is often a hotbed of misinformation in the wake of a breaking news event, particularly during horrible disasters involving multiple deaths, such as the Sandy Hook shootings. And social media is often a conduit for the rapid spread of fake facts and those terribly convincing photos that circulate around seemingly without end.

But a new service called Grasswire plans to be a “real-time newsroom curated and fact checked by everyone.” Covered by PandoDaily’s David Holmes recently, the Android app and website seeks to rectify all the wrongs people (including journalists) have Twitter have committed in spreading non fact-checked information on social media by ensuring it doesn’t keep happening. The platform is reminiscent of Reddit, Holmes notes — only Grasswire’s verification process is a bit more in-depth.

“…Instead of simply upvoting or downvoting, users can click “confirm” or “refute.” The confirmations and refutations stick with each post so that when the link is shared to social media, whatever factchecking is in place goes along with it. That way, even if a Grasswire link to a false claim is tweeted out or posted to Facebook, once its been refuted all subsequent retweets and posts will surface that factcheck,” Holmes explained.

Honestly, I think Grasswire’s idea is a huge step in the right direction. As more social media outlets surface, and user bases rise, citizen journalism is becoming more mainstream. On the one hand, it’s great. An engaged citizenry that reads and shares the news and seeks to inform their followers of what’s going on in their towns, states, country, the world?

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New Draft of SPJ’s Ethics Code Now Available

SPJDid you know that the Society of Professional Journalists is in the process of revising its Code of Ethics for the first time since 1996? I didn’t, but I learned it from The News Tribune‘s Karen Peterson, based in Tacoma, WA, over the weekend.

The code was discussed most recently by The Ethics Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists, and a final draft will be presented at the Excellence in Journalism event in early September.

Peterson is a member of the SPJ and noted that much of the journalism we see produced today dances on the ethics line — largely because of the technology we have at our disposal, that, of course, was way too far into the future to foresee in 1996.

She noted the following recommended addition to the code:

“Weigh the consequences of publishing personal information, including that from social media.”

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Using the Verification Handbook? EJC Wants Your Help.

verificationhandbookWe wrote about the European Journalism Centre’s Verification Handbook this past year when it was released. In case you’ve been using it, they’re looking for some feedback for next editions. You can take the quick survey about what you like, don’t like, use, and ignore right here. If you haven’t heard the handbook, it’s a great resource with input from digital journalism’s finest thinkers: Craig Silverman, Steve Buttry, Mathew Ingram, among many others.

You can follow the EJC @ECJNET.

EJC Releases Free Verification Handbook for Newsrooms

verificationhandbookNo one likes to make mistakes. Especially during a crisis and in a digital world like ours when it’s easier to make them and easier to find yourself in serious ethical trouble for it.

There’s finally a guide for all of that. This week, the Emergency Journalism Centre released their Verification Handbook, available for free on the web and soon in downloadable form. The Handbook was edited by Poynter’s ‘Regret the Error’ editor Craig Silverman, and compiled by a team of working journalists and media industry thought leaders, like Steve Buttry, Mathew Ingram, Anthony De Rosa, among many others.

The Handbook is useful for everyone (did you retweet that story about Elan Gale on a plane?). But it’s tailored for journalists reporting on emergencies or disasters, when information flows faster than usual, making it hard to triple check your work and get it posted. Think about the Boston Marathon bombing last year and how we were glued to our Twitter accounts for information. There are chapters on verifying, yes, social media accounts, but also images, video and user generated content.  There’re also a ‘Verification Checklist’ for newsrooms and chapters specific to preparing and implementing disaster coverage. My favorite part? The chapter on how to best ‘use the crowd’. Everyone throws ‘crowdsourcing’ around very easily, but it’s a skill and if it’s done improperly, your newsroom will be sorry for it.

You can read the handbook here and follow the EJC at @EJC.