The editor of First Draft News has issued a plea to journalists and the wider media to become more aware of the risk posed by ‘fake’ news.
Jenni Sargent, speaking at the Society of Editors conference 2016, believes modern-day journalism has made it extremely easy for publications to become slack when it comes to the verification process.
With the internet now dominating journalism at most levels, First Draft News aims to provide verification advice from a non-profit point-of-view.
And Sargent feels the pressure of getting to the story first sometimes leads to inconsistencies.
She said: “At First Draft, we try to provide some guidance to newsrooms to get through this tricky landscape of the internet.
“The reality of most newsrooms is that this urgency to report something that looks convincing is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Sargent’s presentation also focused on the importance of sifting carefully through manipulated and potentially doctored user-generated content.
The Emhub director also feels it’s important to equip journalists with the tools and knowledge needed to differ between potentially fake and genuine sources.
She said: “Everyone is a source – it has potential to be fake, manipulated, and could be shared by social media users who have little knowledge of the topic.
“Understanding who your sources are, where your videos have come from, is so important. You need to question every piece of content.”
By Hayden Atkins