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First Draft welcomes two new staff members

The positions were made possible by funding from the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and the News Integrity Initiative

Welcome to the team!

We are thrilled to announce our first expansion of the First Draft team to include Eoghan Sweeney as our Global Training Director and Nic Dias as a Senior Research Fellow.

Eoghan Sweeney

Eoghan Sweeney

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.

Nic Dias

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’ll work closely with us on our research projects, too.

These new positions were made possible by generous funding from the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and the News Integrity Initiative. First Draft’s director Claire Wardle said: “The last few months have been an incredibly busy time for our organization, and we’ve been running at full speed just trying to keep up. Having this support has allowed us to hire two exceptional journalists, and it allows us to move quickly on our plans around training and research. We’re very excited about what we will be able to achieve in the next few months.”

We are still a small team and having Eoghan and Nic join us will make a significant difference. We will be able to expand and deliver the kinds of projects and trainings that will advance knowledge and skills, both in newsrooms as well as for anyone who finds information, images and videos on the social web, and wants to learn how to be more critical of what they find.

Please welcome Eoghan and Nic!

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A project of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, First Draft News is an open-access site that provides practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web.