REVEAL @ News Impact Summit
- Jochen Spangenberg
- On April 27, 2015
On 31 March 2015, REVEAL participated at the News Impact Summit in Hamburg, Germany. REVEAL was an official partner, presented a project overview and conducted a workshop at this high level verification event.
On 31 March 2015 about 140 journalists and media folks made their way to Hamburg, Germany, to attend the News Impact Summit, part of a series of media innovation events organised by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and Google News Lab. Presenters and attendees discussed various aspects of verification, investigation, and digital ethics.
The organisers had managed to bring together leading figures from the UGC (user-generated content) verification sphere, among them Craig Silverman of Emergent, Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Jenni Sargent of Eyewitness Media Hub, Fergus Bell of SAM, Hauke Janssen of Der Spiegel and Michael Wegener of ARD News, to name but a few.
Obviously, REVEAL was delighted to be a partner in such a high profile event that concentrated on core topics and issues of relevance to our project and its activities.
Contributions of Team REVEAL
REVEAL was more than “just a partner” of the News Impact Summit: in the morning, Jochen Spangenberg of Deutsche Welle gave an ignite talk in which he outlined the state of affairs regarding the dealing with and verification of eyewitness media. One of his conclusions: while tools and algorithms can certainly help tremendously in the verification of user-generated content, there will always be a role to play for humans, at least in the foreseeable future. Additionally, old (and very useful) practices such as picking up the phone and talking directly to sources who were present at the scene of events as eyewitnesses have not lost their value, as these can provide valuable clues in the verification process.
In the afternoon, Nikos Sarris of ATC presented the first research outcomes of REVEAL. The workshop also saw the first public display of a prototype developed by ATC, namely Truthnest. Access to the platform at this stage is by invitation only – to obtain access, contact @nikossarris via Twitter or go directly via @truth_nest and provide your Twitter handle.
Furthermore, the various components and approaches as they are being developed and pursued in REVEAL were presented and discussed. The session was well received overall and resulted in numerous requests for trial accounts. It also resulted in further interest in, and collaboration inquiries with REVEAL.
The original plan was to portray what happened in the other sessions and workshops next. But we decided to skip this when we came across this great summary produced by the European Journalism Centre as a Storify Slideshow. So if you want to get an excellent overview of the day and read key messages and comments by speakers and conference visitors, we highly recommend you go there and check it out!
Also well worth your time: the day’s round-up by Charlie Becket, Director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, entitled “But how do you know that it’s true? Notes from #nishbr verification workshop”. One of his conclusions: “We should never rely on algorithms but they are a big help.”
Summing up from the REVEAL perspective, we can state the following: The News Impact Summit brought together a fantastic set of very knowledgeable people from the UGC / eyewitness media verification sector. It allowed us to refresh existing and establish new contacts. The conference itself, plus the preceding day’s “by invitation only gathering”, was an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas and to discuss current challenges. Finally, it gave us the opportunity to showcase what we are doing in the EC co-funded research project REVEAL, and outline our work to a highly interested audience, many of them potential future users of REVEAL outcomes.