Here’s a list of initiatives that hope to fix trust in journalism and tackle “fake news”.
There’s a lot.
I’ve tried to collect an extensive list of projects, initiatives and tools created to fix trust in journalism and false/fake news and misinformation. This also includes efforts and initiatives around verification. Where possible I’ve also tried to attach where the funding has come from for each initiative.
Fact Checking & Verification
Collaborations & Coalitions
Poynter International Fact Checking Network — United States
“The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is a forum for fact-checkers worldwide hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. These organizations fact-check statements by public figures, major institutions and other widely circulated claims of interest to society.”
Funding: Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters’ Lab, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.
Faktisk — Norway
A new collaboration between Norwegian news organisations Dagbladet, VG, TV2 and the country’s public broadcaster NRK to focus on Fact Checking.
Funding: Fritt Ord foundation and as a co-ownership between Schibsted/ Tinius Trust, Dagbladet and NRK
WikiTribune — Global
“Wikitribune is a news platform that brings journalists and a community of volunteers together.
We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events. And that stories can be easily verified and improved.”
First Draft News — United States/Europe
“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 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.”
Funding: Google NewsLab
CrossCheck — France
“[A] collaborative journalism project to fight misinformation online. The French presidential election is the project’s initial focus, and will combine the efforts of more than 34 newsroom partners as well as journalism students across France and beyond. Together, they will work to debunk rumours and false claims and accurately report confusing and misleading stories.”
Funding: Google NewsLab (CrossCheck is First Draft Project)
Google Fact Check — Global
“For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page. The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.”
Stop Fake — Ukraine
“Initially the goal of the project was to verify and refute disinformation and propaganda about events in Ukraine being circulated in the media. Eventually the project grew into an information hub where we examine and analyze all aspects of Kremlin propaganda. We not only look at how propaganda influences Ukraine, we also try to investigate how propaganda impacts on other countries and regions, from Syria and Turkey to the European Union and countries which once made up the Soviet Union.”
Funding: Crowdfunding, reader contributions. Also supported by the international Renaissance Foundation, the Foreign Ministry of the Czech Republic, the British Embassy in Ukraine and the Sigrid Rausing Trust.
Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI — Indonesia
“More than 100 media representatives gathered on Tuesday (18/04) to announce the establishment of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI, whose primary mission is to verify tens of thousands of online news outlets, fight hoax, promote accurate journalism and make sure that journalists adhere to the code of professional ethics.”
Firstdraftnews.com, First Draft News Coalition —Global
“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
Here on First Draft News we offer quick reference resources, case studies and best practice recommendations, authored by representatives from our nine founding partners.”
Funding: Google NewsLab
The Verification Handbook, European Journalism Centre — The Netherlands
“Authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts, the Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers. It provides the tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.”
Funding: European Journalism Centre
Finding the Truth Amongst Fakes, Al Jazeera Media Institute — Qatar
“The main aim of this new publication is to guide journalists on how to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) in news coverage ethically and successfully. Case studies on how news stories such as the Madaya crisis or a Dubai hotel fire were verified, and how post-Arab Spring news platforms bought into social media, are combined with best practices and tools to monitor social media, and verify images and video. Also, the publication discusses the essential ethical considerations that a journalist should always take into account when dealing with UGC.”
Funding: Al Jazeera
Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors, Snopes — United States
“Snopes.com’s updated guide to the internet’s clickbaiting, news-faking, social media exploiting dark side.”
A Field Guide to Fake News, Public Data Lab, First Draft & others — Global
“A Field Guide to Fake News explores the use of digital methods to trace the production, circulation and reception of fake news online. It is a project of the Public Data Lab with support from First Draft.”
Social Media Handbook, Swedish Radio — Sweden
“We have chosen to divide this manual into three main parts: dialogue, research and sharing. These three parts are interlinked, however. For example, it is difficult to spread one’s material without a dialogue, since dialogue is the basis of all activities in social media. Still, the division corresponds to the needs we generally have: we want to talk to our audience, we want to find better approaches and new ideas, and we want as many people as possible to have access to our work.”
PolitiFact’s Guide to Fake News Sites — United States
“Using our experiences, we’ve been able to create our own fake news almanac. We want to help readers sort out fact from fiction on your social news feeds, so we compiled a list of every website on which we’ve found deliberately false or fake news stories since we started working along with Facebook — 156 in all.”
News Integrity Initiative — United States (with global partners)
“A group of tech industry leaders, academic institutions, non-profits and other organizations are jointly launching a $14 million fund to support the News Integrity Initiative, a global consortium focused on helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online.
The Initiative’s mission is to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation. The Initiative will fund applied research and projects, and convene meetings with industry experts.”
Funding: Facebook, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks.
The Trust Project — United States
The project crafts tangible digital strategies to fulfill journalism’s basic pledge: to serve society with a truthful, intelligent and comprehensive account of ideas and events. We take advantage of our location at the heart of Silicon Valley to imagine technology that can bake the evidence of trustworthy reporting — accuracy, transparency and inclusion –plainly into news practices, tools and platforms.”
Funding: The Trust Project’s founding funder was Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, as part of craigconnects’ Trustworthy Journalism Initiative. Google is contributing financial support to the Trust Project. The project is also supported by the Markkula Foundation.
Trusting News (Reynolds Journalism Institute) — United States
“How do people decide what news is trustworthy? And how can journalists influence what users consume and share? This site offers guidance on those questions, which are crucial in an era when journalists struggle to stand out in a minefield of misinformation.
With the help of 14 news outlets, we spent a year studying users’ reactions to social media strategies designed to enhance trust. What we’ve learned can help journalists influence what the public chooses to believe, and to pass along.”
Funding: Reynolds Journalism Institute
Accountability Journalism Program (API) — United States
“Through research and partnerships, API studies specific ways to make fact-checking and accountability reporting more effective, transparent and far-reaching. Recent projects have included an examination of best practices by some of the country’s top accountability journalists; a summit to determine the future of fact-checking; training sessions around the country as well as the creation of a free online course on fact-checking (with the Poynter Institute); and a weekly newsletter with Poynter on fact-checking, verification and accountability journalism. API’s ongoing research on trust and transparency — a project with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research — also augments accountability efforts through research and survey data on creating trustworthy and accurate journalism.”
Current funding: Democracy Fund. (Past funding: The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Rita Allen Foundation)
Knight Prototype Fund (Open Call) – United States
“We’re looking for technologists, journalists, designers, teachers, researchers, and others who are eager to develop ideas to help ensure all people have access to accurate information. We understand issues of trust and misinformation are nuanced and complicated, and we are looking for ideas and collaborations that can help bring new voices and vision to these debates.”
Funding: Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund, and the Rita Allen Foundation
Omidyar Network — United States
The Omidyar Network has announced “a $100M commitment to tackle some of the root causes of the global trust deficit. The funding, which runs over the next three years, will focus on strengthening independent media and investigative journalism, tackling misinformation and hate speech, and enabling citizens to better engage with government on critical issues. The funding will support work across the globe.”
Funding: Omidyar Network
The Next Journalism Prize – Europe
Not directly fixing trust but an innovation initiative that could fund projects that will fix trust.
“The Next Journalism Award seeks to reward such long-term innovation and risk taking. In its content, form and development, this project — innovative, demanding, efficient and independent — must be in service of tomorrow’s quality journalism. The award is aimed at projects in their first stages, that have yet to be tested and prototyped. The winning project must be in the process of being created. A unique way of shedding light on the ongoing efforts and investments of pioneering media entrepreneurs as they reshape the future of journalism at the European level.”
Funding: Audiens, Fondation Varenne, Prisma Media
“Information now flows through our lives 24/7, but how much of it is unreliable? More than ever, Reporters must select, verify and account for their facts. Inject aims to make creative search techniques and explanatory background fast and easy to use for enriched reporting.”
Funding: Horizon 2020
MisInfocon — United States
This event has already happened and so far there have been no announcements about additional conferences but the first is already spawning lots of projects.
“One of the largest gatherings focusing on trust, verification, fact checking, and reader experience. We will bring together ambassadors from technology platforms, news organizations, as well as experts in social science, media literacy, policy, advocacy, cybersecurity and more. Software developers, designers, librarians, academics and actual, honest-to-goodness “real people” that are impacted by misinformation are all welcome.”
Funding: Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Mozilla, Knight Foundation, Center for Civic Media, and Alley Interactive
I’m aware that individual organisations have set up their own initiatives but for this post I decided to only include projects which are open or involve more than one organisation.
I will definitely have missed some. Please let me know what I need to add. If I have made any mistakes in description or funding details, again let me know and I’ll update. You can reach me at email@example.com.
(Disclaimer: I am a founding member of the First Draft Coalition.)
This post first appeared on Medium and is cross-posted here with permission.
Fergus Bell is a journalist and news consultant. He is founder and media consultant of Dig Deeper Media, a newsroom and media consultancy specializing in strategies for digital news gathering, newsroom workflows, UGC and verification. He was previously international social media and UGC editor at Associated Press.