The Verification Handbook

The European Journalism Center has published an update to it’s Verification Handbook, which is available as a free online ebook. The first edition focuses on verifying reports and emerging content when an emergency breaks.

The new book, Verification Handbook for Investigative Reporting, concentrates on instructions for adopting an ethical approach to using open source information and user generated content.

Contributors include Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Malachy Browne of Storyful, Mathew Ingram and other familiar names from the worlds of journalism and human rights, and features fascinating case studies encountered by experienced news teams.

Editor, Craig Silverman has been talking to about why it’s important to focus on the morals of gathering in the UGC that is more freely available than ever before.

‘A lot of times, unfortunately, people just view [UGC] as material, and these folks are just sources…and that’s really not the case, they’re folks who are sometimes putting themselves in danger, who have put themselves at risk to put this information out there. They are sometimes people who, if you give them bad direction, they may end up putting themselves in harms way without realising it. So it’s really important in newsrooms for people to start realising that yes, this information is tremendously valuable, but it’s not just yours for the taking. You have to think about their rights, about ethics and about their safety and security as well.’