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First Draft News
Your guide to navigating the digital information ecosystem

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. The focus of our work includes:

  • Misattributed and manipulated images that circulate widely online
  • Eyewitness photographs and videos captured at the scene of a news event
  • Claims and content shared on social media and on private messaging apps
  • Hoaxes and fake stories generated for financial or political gain

First Draft formed as a nonprofit coalition in June 2015 to raise awareness and address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. These challenges are common to newsrooms, human rights organizations and social technology companies and also their audiences, communities and users.

Here on First Draft News we offer quick reference resources, case studies and best practice recommendations, authored by representatives from our nine founding partners.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date with our continuing research, training programmes and collaborative projects.

Partner Network

In September 2016 we launched the First Draft Partner Network, the first of its kind to bring together the largest social platforms with global newsrooms, human rights organizations and other fact-checking and verification projects around the world.

The Partner Network is based on the idea that the scale of the challenges that society faces around filtering factual information and authentic content can only be tackled via a global collaboration of organizations working together to find solutions.

Core Partners

Our Core partners are journalism, human rights and technology organisations 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 is committed to sharing knowledge, devising policies and contributing to the development of tools and training.

Core partners will work together on:

  • Recommendations for managing and monitoring information and images in real time, across multiple networks and in multiple languages
  • Ways to streamline and embed a verification process to check that a photograph, video or story published online is original and genuine
  • Ways to promote debunks and prevent the spread of misinformation
  • Solutions for how journalists can appropriately connect with a social media source to secure additional information and permission to use their content
  • Raising awareness of the rights and safety of eyewitnesses, victims and their families when reporting and publishing photographs and videos sourced online
  • Building resilience amongst those frequently exposed to graphic and distressing imagery online to avoid vicarious trauma, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Increasing news literacy amongst social media users

Up to four representatives from each core partner organization will meet at regular in-person summits, share experiences and ideas in a private online community and participate in the real-time collaborative verification of socially sourced content in a dedicated First Draft Newsroom, hosted on Check.

Academic Partners

Our academic partners are institutions that have programs in journalism, communications, computer science or human rights with faculty dedicated to the issues and challenges addressed by First Draft.

Academic 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. See our full list of Academic Partners.

Affiliate Partners

Our affiliate partners are nonprofits/NGOs, trade associations, commercial networks, coalitions or communities that are relevant to the issues and challenges addressed by First Draft.

We will work closely with our affiliate partners to support their existing newsgathering and verification initiatives, devise bespoke training programmes and provide best practice guidance and recommendations to disseminate amongst their own members and networks.

Members

Members are small news organisations or individuals with an interest in following and amplifying the work of First Draft and its Partner Network.

This programme is in development and was created in response to the overwhelming interest we received following the launch of the partner network. Current members will be kept informed of Partner Network activities and receive invitations to regional in-person events and workshops.

Is First Draft a non-profit?

First Draft launched in June 2015 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 hope to have an advisory council and full governing board in place by spring 2017.

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 (including recommended tools, platforms or services) are not influenced by funding partnerships, personal interest or the potential gain of any entities involved in or related to First Draft.

Firstdraftnews.com does not feature any advertising or sponsored content.

Founding Partners

Click the logos below to find out more about our founding partners.