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About

First Draft is dedicated to improving skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information that emerges online

We provide practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web.

First Draft formed as a nonprofit coalition with nine Founding Partners in June 2015 to raise awareness and address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. In September 2016, we expanded our coalition with a Partner Network to help inform and scale our work, and to champion the importance of collaboration.

Partner Network

The Network is the first of its kind to bring together social platforms with global newsrooms and other industry projects, associations, research labs, projects and universities. Partners work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process, improve the experience of eyewitnesses and increase news literacy.

Partner Network Members

Founding

Core

Academic & Research

Technology

Core

Our Core partners are journalism, human rights and technology organizations that have an international remit and work at the intersection of information distribution and social media.

They have been invited based on their capacity to actively contribute to relevant initiatives and their existing dedication to improving practices in the ethical sourcing, verification and reporting of stories that emerge online. Each partner may have up to four representatives who are committed to sharing knowledge, devising policies and contributing to the development of tools and training.

Academic & Research

Our academic and research partners are from institutions that have programs in journalism, communications, computer science or human rights with faculty dedicated to the issues and challenges addressed by First Draft, and research or fact-checking teams. Academic and research partners are invited to conduct and contribute to relevant research projects and will be granted access to a 15-week newsgathering and verification curriculum featuring teaching materials, learner guides, class activities, instructional videos and interactive resources.

We are a non-profit

First Draft launched as a non-profit project fiscally sponsored by Eyewitness Media Hub. We are in the process of officially incorporating as a non-profit organization in the US and have an advisory council.

First Draft receives project funding to coordinate initiatives such as the Partner Network and welcomes offers of additional sponsorship (either financial or in-kind) from any organization keen to support a related project or event.

As a founding partner, Google News Lab provided financial assistance to develop and maintain firstdraftnews.com, support the creation of new content and coordinate all coalition-led initiatives.

Ethics policy

Operational and editorial decisions are not influenced by funding partnerships, personal interest or the potential gain of any entities involved in or related to First Draft.

Our Team

Claire Wardle
Strategy and Research Director
Claire leads the strategic direction and research for First Draft and is the co-founder of one of First Draft’s founding partners, Eyewitness Media Hub. Before First Draft, she was the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was also head of social media for the United Nations Refugee Agency and Director of News Services for Storyful. She is one of the world’s experts on user-generated content, and has led substantial research projects—with an emphasis on qualitative research methodologies—investigating how UGC is handled by news organizations. She sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Information and Entertainment. She holds a PhD in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania.

Eoghan Sweeney
Global Training Director
Eoghan was most recently at Storyful as Duty Editor. He was among the earliest hires at Storyful and part of a core team that developed industry-leading techniques, systems and practices in monitoring, discovery and verification of online content. He is based in Berlin and will be responsible for developing and delivering training for First Draft, both in person and by playing a key role in updating and creating new online resources.

Aimee Rinehart
Partner Network, Communications and Special Projects Manager
Aimee manages the more than 100 partner organizations in First Draft’s Partner Network. She plans quarterly in-person meetings and facilitates the conversation online about newsrooms training and standards on verification. She coordinates external communications and serves as project manager on First Draft initiatives and projects. She started working online in 1996 and was a digital originator at The New York Times. She was an editor at the Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels and upon her return to New York, worked in the communications departments at the American Civil Liberties Union, the Overseas Press Club of America and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated from Indiana University School of Journalism and has an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Newark University.

Nicholas Dias
Senior Research Fellow
Nic is a computational journalist who recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School, with a specialism in data and computational techniques. He first became involved with First Draft as a member of the Electionland team last Fall and also worked with us on the UK Election project. His byline has already begun to appear on the website (for example this piece about reporting on digital astroturfing, and this piece on how to begin monitoring social media) as he keeps an eye on the latest tools and techniques for effectively monitoring the disinformation ecosystem and verifying the content that emerges. He also works closely with us on our research projects.

Mohamed Adel
Assistant Editor, language websites and communications

Hannah Barrett
Print and digital design

Stay in touch

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What partners say about the Network

In its first year, First Draft has done tremendous work to develop and share best practices for journalists on how to ethically and responsibly approach eyewitness media. We’re excited to be growing the coalition to include new platforms and newsrooms around the world.

Olivia Ma, Head of Partnerships for Google News Lab

The First Draft partner network represents an important opportunity for the news industry to work together on best practices, trainings, research and more. We're excited to help and support newsrooms that are experts in using eyewitness content.

Áine Kerr, Manager of Journalism Partnerships at Facebook

Twitter is thrilled to be a part of the First Draft Partner Network so that we can collaboratively shape best practices, ethical guidelines and tools when it comes to discovering and verifying eyewitness media.

Niketa Patel, News Partnerships Manager at Twitter

ABC News is pleased to be the first Australian partner in the First Draft Partner Network, an important initiative in ethical newsgathering practices. We look forward to collaborating with the other member news organisations worldwide to share best practices, assist in the development of new training resources, and collectively solve problems related to the verification and use of information sourced online.

Gaven Morris, ABC News director

Devising systems to consistently disseminate truthful information - while debunking fake news - is a core goal for both fact-checkers and verification experts. The IFCN at Poynter is thrilled to join forces with other organizations passionate about improving the accuracy and reliability of our news ecosystem.

Alexios Mantzarlis, Director, International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter

There are a lot of ways to be competitive and differentiate our products and services in the news business. Ethics and respect for eyewitnesses is not one of them - it's collective path we must forge to ensure a strong future for contributors and the industry.

James A. Neufeld, CEO & Founder of SAM

Banjo's excited to contribute to the important dialogue surrounding newsroom practices and verification, as enabled via First Draft. An opportunity to support many of the evolving challenges of today's newsroom realities, while advancing smart strategies of tomorrow.

Victor Hernandez, Director of Media Innovation at Banjo

BBC News is thrilled to be a part of this network and we look forward to contributing to its success.

Mark Frankel, Social Media Editor at BBC News