REVEAL @NewsXchange 2014
- Jochen Spangenberg
- On November 17, 2014
From 12 to 14 November 2014 Wilfried Runde and Jochen Spangenberg of DW Innovation (the department dealing with REVEAL at Deutsche Welle) and Ellen Schuster of DW’s Strategic Programme Planning Department attended the NewsXchange 2014 conference in Prague, Czech Republic.
The annual conference is one of Europe’s prime events for the news industry. This year it was attended by 520 delegates from all over the world – a sell-out for the first time in the NewsXchange history. Most attendants came from the broadcasting as well as electronic media industries as well as news agencies, but also solution providers and many more were represented. All this made it a gathering well worth attending!
Spreading the word
The DW Innovation team used the opportunity to discuss the state of affairs in newsgathering and reporting, and spread the word about REVEAL and what we are doing in the project.
Once again it became obvious that REVEAL is dealing with a very important aspect in the area of news reporting: verification of UGC (User Generated Content). Some sessions were dedicated exclusively to verification of UGC for usage in news (e.g. a combined workshop by Storyful’s Aine Kerr entitled “Time for Action – Setting the rules of the road for eyewitness media” and Claire Wardle of the Tow Center / UNHCR / Eyewitness Media Hub called “When it comes to UGC – do news executives know what they’re doing”) in which various aspects of verification were discussed. Both were supported by lawyer Adam Rendle of Taylor Wessing LLP who stressed legal implications of this comparatively new way of reporting.
Verification is key
Other sessions dealt with news reporting in general, or specific aspects thereof. They, too, again and again stressed how important it is to check and verify material that is circulated in Social Networks. This is vital in order to report accurately and not risk losing trust and credibility – something that is at stake when faked, manipulated or untrue events or stories are reported by established (and generally trusted) media brands.
All the above is summed up very well by delegate and panelist Rania Abouzeid, an independent journalist covering the Middle East, especially Syria. In the session “Can media change the world? A session on accountability”, moderated by Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow she said the following, when asked what matters most in news reporting: “verify, verify, verify”. There’s nothing much to add from our side.
Well, not quite. For more information on the NewsXchange conference and the issues of relevance to REVEAL and verification of UGC, we also recommend the following:
- an article by Abigail Edge on Journalism.co.uk that sums up nicely the workshop by Claire Wardle and Aine Kerr dealing with verification. It also gave advice for newsrooms managing user generated content. The article is entitled “Best practice tips for eyewitness media from #NX14” and well worth reading.
- the Twitter streams produced throughout the conference under the hashtag #NX14, including those by REVEAL.
- a video interview we conducted with Michael Wegener, Head of Content Center at ARD News and in charge of dealing with UGC for Germany’s flagship news programme tagesschau.
Copyright notice / sources / credits:
Cover photo and image 2 by Jochen Spangenberg; image 1 by Wilfried Runde, image 3: Twitter screenshot with posts by Caroline Bannock, UGC coordinator at The Guardian with GuardianWitness, Hannah Storm, Director of International News Safety Institute INSI, and DW Innovation