curation #1: verify or be damned!

“Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth…

Its essence is a discipline of verification”

(Pew Research Journalism Project)


For a journalist, failing to verify facts and sources is potentially a name & shame embarrassment and a bad career move. Poynter’s Craig Silverman  – Regret the Error – tracks them.

On trusting Twitter, Steve Buttry advises using sources, checking connections, profiles, timings and images. On fact checking: find the source, ask ‘how do you know that?’, evaluate that source, challenge the information.

Silverman and Buttry are both contributors to the Verification Handbook.

Felix Salmon posted that the need to scoop is the most ‘masturbating‘ thing a journalist can do. Only the reporter actually cares. Matthew Ingram elaborates: The news audience doesn’t care where they heard it first,  but do care who told it accurately.

Jennifer Preston of the NYT spoke to Andrew Fitzgerald about the importance of twitter in breaking stories like the Hudson plane crash, the Arab Spring, and Boston marathon bombing, and maintains ” it’s more important to get it right than to get it first.”

Alex Murray at the The BBC’s User Generated Content Hub describes systems for verifying images and clips that are almost forensic: checking weather, shadows, weaponry, vehicles and license plates, getting expert advice on accents and dialects. It’s a necessity, whether it takes seconds or hours.

Biz Carson flags the potential of Izitru to host and verify images

When to trust social media? Jeff Sonderman applies the qualified compass of credibility, importance and urgency

What are other journalists doing?  Craig Silverman reports on Verification as a Strategic Ritual , a research paper sourced from journalists’ own practices: Informed compromises, roundabout methods and reliance on previous experience.

And should you trip here in Australia? Beware Media Watch and ABC Fact Check.





Verification as a Strategic Ritual Ivor Shapiro, Colette Brin, Isabelle Bédard-Brûlé, Kasia Mychajlowycz, Journalism Practice ,Vol. 7, Iss. 62013



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