Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

User-generated content

Should news organizations make money off user-generated content and compensate sources?

News organizations often make money off user-generated content, but the source of the user-generated content is often not compensated, Damaris Colhoun writes. Tow Center research director Claire Wardle, who is also involved with Eyewitness Media Hub, says: “I’ve really struggled with this idea of should we be paying eyewitnesses, because I think it creates a […]

5 browser plug-ins that make verifying content easier

Alastair Reid rounds up five browser plug-ins to add now to make it simpler to verify newsworthy content on the Internet. Among the plug-ins: RevEye is a reverse image search tool, but allows users to search Google, TinEye, Bing, Russia’s Yandex and China’s Baidu all at once. And, Distill Web Monitor will notify you when […]

How to avoid the ‘wolfpack mentality’ when approaching eyewitnesses online

News organizations can’t afford to ignore eyewitness reports posted to social media, Reuters global head of video and pictures John Pullman says, but they do need to be careful in how they approach eyewitnesses who may have hundreds of reporters reaching out to them. When working with eyewitnesses, Pullman says Reuters nominates one person to […]

Guiding principles from the Eyewitness Media Hub for journalists handling user-generated content

Eyewitness Media Hub, a nonprofit group that supports the use of eyewitness media, has created a set of guiding principles for journalists who work with user-generated content, including handy shareable cards and a “cut out and keep” version. The six principles include how to consider the physical and emotional welfare of eyewitnesses, why it’s essential […]

Why Mic crowdsourced questions for the president recorded as videos

A week before Mic was scheduled to sit down for an interview with President Obama, Mic put out a call for questions for the president on video. Four days later, the Millennial-focused publication had received questions from 136 people in 26 different countries. Rather than choosing to simply ask for questions via social media, Mic […]

How to establish a workflow for verifying info from social media

By establishing a process to gather info from social media and verify it, First Draft’s Fergus Bell says newsrooms can cut down on corrections and retractions on user-generated content. In the newsroom, Bell recommends getting as many eyes as possible on user-generated content during verification. Bell says: “When it comes to UGC and verification, the […]

How Mashable used user-generated content to create an interactive story on Syria

Syria is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, leading to less news coming out of the country, but Mashable took advantage of user-generated content to get a window into the country. “Raqqa: An Inside Story” includes a longform piece and interactive that were created with verified user-generated information that tells the story of […]

Storyful’s best practices for reaching out to eyewitnesses

User-generated content is becoming increasingly valuable, but Storyful’s Rachael Kennedy says many journalists don’t consider the welfare of their sources enough. Kennedy says Storyful usually takes the time to send a follow-up message to inquire about the source’s well-being. Kennedy offers Storyful’s best practices for reaching out to eyewitnesses who could potentially become long-term sources, […]

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