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REVEAL | December 4, 2023

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Interview with Michael Wegener, ARD News

Interview with Michael Wegener, ARD News
Jochen Spangenberg

How to deal with content from Social Networks? What are current challenges and requirements, especially with regards to verification? As part of our interview series we talked to Michael Wegener, Head of the Content Center at ARD News, Hamburg, during NewsXchange 2014!


As reported previouslyWilfried Runde and Jochen Spangenberg of DW Innovation participated in one of Europe’s prime events for the news industry: NewsXchange 2014. The annual conference was held from 12-14 November 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. The event labels itself as “the news industry’s most provocative and most insightful experience” for people working in and dealing with news. It was attended by more than 500 people working in news. One of them was Michael Wegener.

Michael is Head of the Content Center at ARD News in Hamburg, working for Germany’s flagship news programme tagesschau. That means he is in charge of dealing with user-generated content (UGC). A large part of the team’s work, led by Michael, consists of verifying material found in Social Networks.

We had the opportunity to talk to Michael in the course of NewsXchange 2014 and discussed ways of working, how they deal with UGC at ARD News, and what role  verification plays in the process.

Some key statements of Michael included the following:

  • the use of UGC has to be demystified as it is basic journalistic research;
  • compared with agency material, UGC is different as it has not been checked beforehand by other journalists;
  • at tagesschau they deploy a four-step verification process;
  • verification of UGC is a very labour-intensive process, and automation of parts thereof would be very helpful.

Find out what Michael had to say in his conversation with Jochen in detail in the video interview below:


More interviews about UGC and verification are just a click away:

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