NEWS & JOURNALISMDepartment / Unit Academy Media

Verification in the newsroom: digital newsgathering with confidence

This Master Class will equip you with both the knowledge and skills that you need to set up workable digital newsgathering workflows and verification processes for your newsroom. You will also understand how these skills may be used to face the new editorial challenges, such as "fake news".

In practical workshops, scenario-based training, facilitated discussions, and guides to the best tools and technologies, you will understand why structure, planning and workflows are essential to use digital sources and social media fast, accurately and ethically.

This Master Class and the Eurovision Social Newswire are two different services provided by the EBU to help its Members make the most of eyewitness media.

Who it's for

  • Heads of news, heads of newsgathering
  • Heads of digital
  • Journalists and reporters
  • News producers
  • Editors
  • Documentalists & researchers

What you'll learn

  • UGC sourcing and verification: source, check and publish/broadcast from digital sources and social media. Understand the process and tools.
  • Define ethical and legal challenges, apply best practices to maintain good engagement and trust from your audiences.
  • Identify the various types of fake content and how can newsrooms cope with them?
  • Understand what how to set up complex digital newsgathering workflows and verification processes

Content outline

Module 1: Social Media and UGC Verification

This module will examine how to verify user-generated and social media content and how you can create your own processes. The session will also help you understand how to add context to this new content and where it fits in your existing editorial output environment. The module will also look at some of the more advanced tools that newsrooms may wish to use.


  • Presentation of digital newsgathering, verification theory and best practice.

  • Practical information sharing, with contributions welcomed from participants to constantly make it relevant to both them and their peers.

Expected takeaways

An understanding of how to check social media content and UGC quickly and accurately for news output.

Module 2: “Fake News”

To define types of fake content that are having an impact on today’s newsgathering and identify current industry thinking on solutions. The module will look at how the verification theory and practice developed since 2010 can be applied to the “fake news” phenomenon, together with technical processes that will allow newsrooms to identify fake news sites and fake social media accounts.


  • Presentation of the “fake news” environment, categorizing the various types of “fake news” that newsrooms have to face
  • Presentation of latest industry thinking and how current practice can be adapted to cope with “fake news”
  • Practical information sharing, with contributions welcomed from participants to constantly make it relevant to both them and their peers.

Expected takeaways

An understanding of potential solutions for the newsroom to combat “fake news.”

Exercise 1: Breaking news scenario

Apply the theoretical concepts and skills learned in the previous session to a fictional breaking news/newsgathering scenario.


Trainer provides details of events as they unfold. Participants are expected to discuss their options at each stage, explaining and debating the verification process as well as addressing the ethical hurdles they encounter.

Expected takeaways

An understanding of how theory is applied in a real world, real-time situation. How digital newsgathering structure, planning and workflows are essential. How tools and news experience or expertise play important and complementary roles. An introduction to ethical issues that will be discussed later in the programme.

Module 3: Ethics and legal best practice

An ethical approach is essential to the sustainability of digital newsgathering. This module will explore how newsrooms can be ethical when they communicate with individuals or seek access to their content. They will also consider how to keep staff and contributors safe.

This session covers

  • Contributor safety
  • Journalist Safety
  • Rights and permissions
  • Crediting UGC
  • Sensitivity in communication
  • Embedding vs broadcast

Expected takeaways

The ability to feel confident that your approach to UGC can be sustained by applying ethical guidelines within your organization.

Show & Tell

For an EBU Member to relate its own experience, taking other participants through the journey they took, step-by-step.

Module structure

The participant gives a presentation but provides plenty of time for discussion and debate, facilitated by the session moderator. The session gives an overview of the Member’s set-up and focuses on a case-study that highlights the advantages and challenges of this sector.

Expected takeaways

Real-life examples to share with their newsrooms of how and why they may wish to change workflows.

Module 4: Pop up Newsroom projects

Monitoring and verification beyond breaking news. How to set up complex systems and verification processes to cover elections and longer investigations.


  • Presentation of the "Pop up Newsroom" concept and of the UK General Elections 2017 and Documenting Hate projects from workflows to technologies.
  • Applying the lessons learned from these experiments to other projects
  • Brainstorming how it can be applied to participants' upcoming projects

Expected takeaways

An understanding of real-life applications of large-scale monitoring and verification projects but with realistic and practical uses of available resources. Key takeaways on covering national elections.

Exercise 2: Practical session – Mini Pop up newsroom

The session starts with a specific newsgathering brief for which a collaborative project will be quickly designed around, using feedback from the participants to iterate until a satisfactory structure with practical inputs and tangible outputs is evident.

Module 5: Summary and action points

To summarize the sessions and remind the group of the key takeaways and how they might go forward.


  • The trainer returns will return to the board where the challenges were raised at the start of the Master Class. Each point and key theme will be addressed and linked to the training and discussions that have taken place.
  • The group discusses action points relevant to their organizations.

Expected takeaways

Actionable items for newsroom management.

Equipment needed

  • A laptop computer


Faculty member


26 - 27 Feb 2018


EBU Headquarters
L'Ancienne-Route 17A
1218 Le Grand-Saconnex / Geneva

Registration Deadline

25 Feb 2018

Registration details


  • 1st participant: EUR 750
  • 2nd participant from same company (25% discount): EUR 562.50
  • Additional participants from same company (50% discount): EUR 375 per person

The price includes tuition, course material and coffee breaks. It does not include any other meals, travel or hotel costs.

Payment and cancellation policy


EBU Academy do not make hotel reservations. However, we have negotiated competitive rates with some of the hotels near the EBU and the city centre. Please contact the hotel of your choice directly.

Hotels offering special rates for the EBU/Eurovision (pdf)

Working languages


Additional details

This course has been postponed

Contact detail

Hélène Rauby-Matta
Business Development Manager
+41 22 717 24 21

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